Print Recipe

Petite Lemon Curd Cookies

Petite Lemon Curd Cookies

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Basic Butter Cookie Dough

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


  • Basic Butter Cookie Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar for dredging and dusting

Lemon Curd

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks

Special equipment

  • 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutter
  • Pastry bag fitted with small plain tip or a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag (not pleated)


  1. Basic Butter Cookie Dough: In the large bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in flour gradually, beating dough until just combined well.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and divide into equal halves. Form into 2 balls, flattening each into a 6-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
  6. Heat oven to temperature indicated in basic butter cookie recipe.
  7. Lemon Curd: Simmer lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Lightly beat yolks in a small bowl, then add 1/4 cup lemon mixture, whisking. Add yolk mixture to remaining lemon mixture, then reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, then cover surface with plastic wrap and chill while rolling out dough.
  8. Roll out dough: While oven preheats, roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining dough chilled) into a 9-inch round (slightly less than 1/4 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, chill on a baking sheet until firm.) Cut out as many cookies as possible with cutter.
  9. Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Dredge warm cookies in confectioners' sugar until coated and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Make more cookies in same manner.
  10. Transfer lemon curd to pastry bag or plastic bag (snip an 1/8-inch opening in a corner of plastic bag). Put 1 cookie upside down on work surface and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon lemon curd onto cookie, then top with another cookie, right side up, to form a sandwich. Make more sandwiches in same manner.
  11. Just before serving, sift some remaining confectioners' sugar over tops of sandwiched cookies.

Yield: 6 to 7 dozen cookies

Cooks' notes: Cookies (baked and coated with confectioners' sugar but not filled with lemon curd) keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

Lemon curd (before filling cookies) can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Sandwiched cookies (without additional confectioners' sugar) keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment in an airtight container, chilled, 4 days.

Yield: 3 pounds Basic Butter Cookie Dough; 6 to 7 dozen cookies

Source: Gourmet - December 2003 and December 1995