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Closeup of a lemon meringue cookie with spoons in the background

Lemon Meringue Cookies Recipe

Lemon meringue cookies have a melt in your mouth shortbread bottom that is then filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with a sweet toasted meringue.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cookies, lemon curd cookies, lemon meringue
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Sam Adler

Equipment

  • Stand or Hand mixer

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the lemon curd

  • 5 egg yolks separated carefully
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice 5 lemons
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter cold

For the Meringue

  • 5 egg whites saved from the lemon curd yolks
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

First make the cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sized bowl or the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar together on low until light and airy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add the 2 tsp vanilla extract and mix lightly to combine. Add in the 2 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix until a unified dough forms.
  • Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour. (This is a good time to make the curd below). Unwrap the dough and place it between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1/2" thickness and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Repeat the process with scraps. You might have to chill the scraps for a few minutes again before re-rolling. Lift the cookies using an offset spatula onto their baking tray. If the cookies wont lift easily, chill them again for a few minutes then try to lift again.
  • Line the cookies 1 1/2" apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until firm.

Make the Lemon Curd

  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites carefully. If any yolk gets into the whites you cant use them for the meringue below. Set the whites aside.
  • Combine the 5 egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, zest, and 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine. Pour it into a heavy bottomed pan over low- medium heat. Consistently stir the mixture for 10 minutes until it has thickened. You don't want to rush this part or raise the heat as it will cook the eggs.
  • The mixture is done when it coats the back of a spoon. If you take your finger and make a line through the curd on the back of the spoon and it stays in place, it's done.
  • Take the pan off the heat and immediately add the cold butter. Stir until melted.
  • Pour the curd into a container and place a piece of plastic directly on top to prevent a film. Then cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Make the Meringue

  • When the curd has cooled and the cookies are done, make the meringue. Add the 5 egg whites and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar to a hand or stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip on high speed for 30 second, then slowly start pouring in the 1/3rd cup meringue. Whip until you have high glossy stiff peaks about 2-3 minutes.

Assemble the Cookies

  • Place a teaspoon sized dollop of lemon curd on top of the cookie and spread it out to the edge. Then top the curd with the meringue by either piping it on or spooning it on top. I used a spoon for a more rustic look. Using a kitchen torch, torch the meringue until golden brown. Repeat for all cookies and you're done!

Notes

If you don't have a kitchen torch you can switch by adding the meringue on top of the cookie and broiling it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then top with lemon curd. 
Be super careful when using the broiler, you don't want to go over 1 minute or the cookies can burn. 
The lemon curd and cookies can be made up to 3 days in advance.
You can also make these with pie crust bottoms instead of shortbread.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Meringue Cookies Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 194 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 49mg2%
Potassium 47mg1%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.