For the next twelve days, Lemon Baby is bringing you twelve mini-posts of our holiday favorites. Cookies, cakes, side dishes for the holiday meal, candies, soups, and even some edible gift ideas. Starting #12DaysofChristmas off right is a recipe for one of my absolute favorite cookies. They go by several different names (Snowballs, Meltaways, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Tea Cakes) but they all translate to a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie dusted with powdered sugar.
Although normally I include finely chopped pecans, I have an abundance of Meyer lemons from our tree and wanted to try a citrus version. All I did to my original recipe was swap the pecans for finely grated lemon zest and the vanilla extract for lemon extract (in a pinch, lemon juice would work).
Do you have a cookie scoop? They’re like miniature ice cream scoops with spring levers, and they’re amazing. One of those babies makes quick work of a stiff dough like this.
I was first introduced to these cookies by a friend’s mom, who made the most beautiful holiday cookie assortments to give as gifts. She made a more traditional version, but I’ll never forget the taste of those buttery, slightly crumbly, shortbread treats.
Check out those lovely flecks of bright lemon zest. The great thing about Meyer lemons is that they have so much oil that when zested, it permeates everything with the most lovely floral fragrance and flavor. Meyer lemons are a hybrid citrus–a cross between a regular lemon and an orange– so they’re a bit sweeter. It’s always a good idea to add a little regular lemon flavor if you want the classic tartness of a lemon, but in this cookie, Meyer lemon reigns supreme.