Today’s topic: Lemon math.
Baking with produce can be tricky since quantities vary so wildly. One person’s “medium” lemon could be another person’s “small.” And sometimes a piece of produce just doesn’t produce the quantity of juice or zest or whatever that your recipe calls for.
There are all kinds of tables telling you how to convert pieces of produce to volumes of juice. But I usually just over-buy whatever the ingredient is. Recipe calls for 2 lemons? I’m getting 4. Recipe says 3 zucchini? You know I’m buying 5.
A couple weeks ago I found myself with some extra pesky lemon math. I had odd amounts of juice and zest based on the first lemon recipe I made. I started pulling out all my cookbooks to find a solution… and behold! These Lemon Clove Cookies were the answer.
And wow—what an answer! I never would have thought to pair lemon with cloves. It really, really works! They’ve got a great citrus base with a hint of sweetness and the perfect bit of spiciness. The cloves make these cookies extra comforting—they’re really the perfect tough-day snack.
I froze my batch planning to take them to work, but haven’t managed to do that… so I’m just eating them one-by-one from my freezer. Stick ’em in the microwave for a bit and you’ve got comfort on a plate.
Lemon Clove Cookies
Original recipe: Celebrating the Midwestern Table. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.
Yield: 24 cookies
Suggested equipment: Food processor or a blender, mixer
Total Time: ~ 2 hours
Cook Time: 9-12 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp grated zest. That’s roughly 2 large lemons but… buy extra just in case!
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
Make your cookies
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, cloves and salt. Set aside.
- If you’re using a food processor, fit it with the metal blade. You can also use your blender for this step. Pour in your lemon zest and sugar, and mince the two together until the zest becomes small specks. Now you have lemon sugar!
- Use your mixer to cream the butter and lemon sugar together until fluffy.
- Add your egg, and mix until smooth.
- Add in your flour combo and mix well.
- Wrap the dough airtight and place in your fridge to chill for about 45 minutes.
Glaze and bake
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Get your glaze ready. Use a fork to froth the egg and salt in a small bowl.
- Shape your dough into 1 tablespoon balls and place them onto prepared cookie sheets. Press each ball lightly with your fingers to flatten it, then lightly brush glaze over each cookie.
- Bake the cookies about 9-12 minutes. Mine took 9 to hit the perfect chewy texture.
- Let the cookies cool on their sheets for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
These keep extremely well. Just put them in an airtight container, or pop them in your freezer.