Christmas Cookie baking season is upon us, and I am starting out with my newest cookie creation, Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies. They are lemony, sweet and chewy. A perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray or exchange this year.
Crinkle cookies are popular cookie during the holidays, most often seen in chocolate form. I have made chocolate crinkle cookies before, this time I decided to switch it up with using Meyer lemons. Partly because my Meyer lemon tree is bursting this year, partly because I love lemon desserts.
I also love adding in ginger and cardamom with lemon desserts, and it is an especially amazing combination with these lemon crinkle cookies. The flavors really complement each other well.
Our Meyer lemon tree easily has 150 lemons on it, and they are huge too, way bigger than the ones I normally get in grocery stores. Two of my lemons yield 1 cup of juice. That is an insane amount of juice for two lemons.
Gardening in Las Vegas is interesting to say the least. We have had our little backyard garden growing for a few years now and it has been a lot of trial and error. The extreme temps here make it very tricky to plant certain fruits and vegetables so they grow in the correct season. One can end up with a lot of produce going straight to compost because they end up rotting faster than one can harvest.
Which can make for another interesting gardening project. Especially if you add squash and pumpkin seeds to your backyard compost. We grew a 50 foot long pumpkin plant this summer with 5-6 pumpkins that turned orange in AUGUST.
The pumpkin plant grew along the top of our retaining wall where a lot of our citrus trees are planted. We had pumpkins, oranges, lemons and tangerines all in a row. Quite the site for a garden.
My meyer lemon tree grows just outside my kitchen window and is supposed to be a dwarf tree. I wasn’t sure if that meant the tree didn’t grow tall or if they were smaller than normal lemons. I am thinking neither since the tree is almost 6 feet tall and the lemons are huge.
Unfortunately the pumpkins didn’t last long after turning orange. Since it was still well over 100 degrees outside, after I picked them they turned mushy in a couple days. I was kind of sad because I wanted to carve them and have them out front to goof on our neighbors. We wanted to start celebrating Halloween 2 months early. I mean, Christmas decorations were already out in stores, why not have Jack-O-Lanterns on display already?
Luckily my Meyer lemons last a lot longer than the pumpkins did. I have a bowl full of them on my kitchen counter right now and they smell amazing. Because of being homegrown they don’t have any pesticides or waxes sprayed on them to preserve and protect them and mask their scent. It almost smells like I have a lemon scented candle burning, its that strong. And it makes these lemon crinkle cookies smell amazing too.
One of my secrets to extra lemony flavor in baked goods is to rub the sugar with the zest with my fingers really well before adding into the dough or batter. It releases more of the lemon oil into the sugar and makes the lemon scent even stronger. Sugary zest with the lemon juice makes for a delicious and brighter version of these crinkle cookies.
You can use regular lemons if you can’t find Meyers. I just prefer Meyer lemons because I can walk outside my house to pick them from my yard.
- 2 C plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 C sugar
- 4 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
- Natural yellow food coloring - OPTIONAL
- 1 C granulated Sugar
- 1 C powdered ( confectioners sugar)
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cardamom, baking powder and salt
- In a separate bowl combine the granulated sugar with the lemon zest and rub between fingers until the zest is fully mixed with the sugar. This releases more lemon oil into the sugar for a stronger lemon flavor and color
- Cream butter and sugar mixed with lemon zest in a stand mixer on medium speed, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, until soft and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each, scrape down sides of bowl after mixing in each egg. Add in the vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix again.
4. Add in the flour mixture and mix slowly until combined. Do not over mix
5. Chill dough 3-4 hours
6. Preheat oven to 350º F and line baking sheets with parchment paper
7. . Place granulated sugar in one bowl, powdered ( confectioners sugar in a separate bowl)
Take chilled dough and roll into 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then in the powdered sugar making sure they are completely covered.
8. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets about two inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until starting to turn slightly golden. Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, frozen for a few months.