January is, for some, a time for crash diets and exercise. I have some sympathy for the idea of new year rejuvenation (I had my list of resolutions drawn up in October), but putting a ban on all sweet treats, especially after the year we’ve just had, seems a little mean-spirited. Moderation is surely the thing we should be striving for, rather than abstinence? It’s in that spirit that this recipe came to be: a cinch to prepare and, sealed in an airtight container, something to be enjoyed over a couple of weeks.
Lemon cookie crumbles
If you want to get the lemon zest extra-fine, chop it up with a knife before adding to the mix, or, if using a blender, blitz the sugar and zest together first, before adding the other ingredients.
Prep 10 min
Chill 15 min
Cook 12 min
100g golden caster sugar
4 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
125g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
200g plain flour
1 medium egg
1-2 tbsp icing sugar, to dust
The quickest way to make these cookies is by using a food processor. Put the caster sugar, lemon zest, butter and flour in the bowl and blitz for 30 seconds, until the mixture has a breadcrumb texture. If you’re making them by hand, stir the sugar, zest and flour together, then rub through the cold butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then carefully pour a little into the breadcrumb mix and blitz again, until you’ve added just enough that the mix starts to clump together without feeling sticky (you won’t need all of the egg).
Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on to the baking sheets to form 16 8cm-wide circles, then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Just before you bake, sprinkle enough icing sugar over each of the cookies that you can only just see the dough underneath (use your fingertips, a tea strainer or a mini-sieve). Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are browned, then remove, leave to cool and store in an airtight container.