This is a recipe I first made years ago for a Sunday afternoon tea with my parents and Maxence’s mother. I had clipped the recipe from the (now defunct) magazine Biba, and followed it pretty closely, apart from the glaze. The original recipe called for brushing the cookies with a beaten egg, and this sounded drab, so I used my mother’s perfect, sweet and tart lemon glaze instead.
The resulting cookie is crisp at the edges and a little crumbly in the center, with a nice lemon flavor made complex by the use of both juice and zest, and the hint of fleur de sel gives it a very nice tang.
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- 175 grams (1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 75 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
- 75 grams (3/4) almond meal
- 5 pinches fleur de sel
- The zest of 1 organic lemon
- 200 grams (7 ounces, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced
- 1 egg white
- The juice of half an organic lemon
- 1 organic lemon
- Confectioner's sugar
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, almond meal, fleur de sel, and lemon zest.
- Add the butter, and pulse again until the consistency of the dough becomes like breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg white and lemon juice, and mix again just until the dough comes together.
- Divide the dough in two, and roll out each half between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm (a bit under 1/6'').
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Take one half of the dough out of the fridge and peel off the top sheet delicately. Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter, and place them on the cookie sheet, not too close to one another.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them, until golden. Transfer a rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the glaze. Pour 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you get a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread a little glaze on the cookies. Allow to rest until the glaze is set.
This post was first published in January 2004 and updated in July 2016.