Yid.Dish: Lemon Halos

By Leah Koenig

Published June 30, 2005.
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Yields about 48 cookies

Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup granulated or brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Meringue:

3 large egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

3 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1) To make the dough: Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat the shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

3) To make the meringue: Beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold in the vanilla.

4) To assemble: By level teaspoonfuls, form the dough into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet and flatten into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Spoon level teaspoonfuls of the meringue onto each dough round. Using the back of a small spoon dipped in cold water, hollow out the center of the meringues.

5) Bake until lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies stand until firm, about 1 minute, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

6) To make the filling: In a small saucepan, bring the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest to a boil, stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter or margarine. Let cool.

7) Spoon or pipe 1/4 teaspoon of the filling into the center of the halos.

VARIATION:

Chocolate Halos: Substitute 2 cups chocolate ganache for the lemon filling.


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