Lemon Bar Cookie Cups

A sweet, slightly crumbly cookie filled with tart, silky smooth lemon curd, dressed up with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. If you’re a lemon bar lover, you’ll love this cookie cup version. It’s easy to make, and easier to serve than lemon bars.

While searching for fun new recipes to try for 12 weeks of Christmas cookies, I saw several lemon thumbprint cookie recipes, and I couldn’t resist turning them in to cookie cups. Cookie cups are fun to make, easy, and the possibilities are almost endless. After I tasted one of my lemon cookie cups, I realized it tasted like a lemon bar.

I based this cookie on the Fudge-Filled Toffee Pecan Sandies recipe and filled it with homemade lemon curd. Of course, you could also use store bought lemon curd, but this lemon curd is so fabulous you really need to give it a try.

This luscious, best-I’ve-ever-tasted Lemon Curd recipe is from FineCooking.Com and their foolproof method is really unique. You cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, slowly beat in whole eggs, then add the lemon juice, and finally, thicken it in a pan on the stove. It’s satiny smooth and you don’t need to worry about accidentally having bits of cooked egg white in your curd that need to be strained out.

The Lemon Curd recipe makes more than you’ll need for the cookies, but it will keep in the refrigerator for a week, and  it freezes well and will keep in the freezer for 2 months. I made a double batch of the lemon curd and plan to make mini lemon pies next week for Thanksgiving.

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar*
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lemon curd (recipe below)
  • powdered sugar for decorating, optional

Lemon Curd

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Prepare lemon curd.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and extracts. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Drop one tablespoon dough (I used a #50 scoop) into each cup of a greased mini muffin tin. Bake for 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 4 minutes, or until cookies are firm and lightly browned on the sides. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  7. Sprinkle the edges to the cookies with powdered sugar.

Lemon Curd

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until well combined. Add the eggs and yolks and beat for 1 min. Add the lemon juice and mix until blended – the mixture will look lumpy.
  2. In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it melts. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil. (Once it was completely melted, mine thickened and reached 170º in just a few minutes, so watch it closely.)
  3. Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.
Notes
*I made the following high altitude adjustments for the cookies: added 2 tablespoons flour, reduced baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon, and subtracted 1 tablespoon sugar.
Lemon Curd recipe slightly adapted from from Fine Cooking

This post is week 8 of my 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies posts. I hope you get some great ideas checking out all of the fabulous cookies the other 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies (and sweets) bakers baked up for this week.