Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies

Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies

I want you to run out to your store right now and look for Meyer lemons...

...THEN, even if you don't buy them, I want you to pick up a bag and inhale. Ahhhh. Yes, people will stare, but you won't notice. You'll be too busy reveling in the aroma of the ML (Meyer lemon).

Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies: meyer lemons in bowl

Meyer lemons are like sunshine in a bowl. The cookies? Soft, a little tangy, and oh, that cream cheese just begs you to sink your teeth in and take a colossal bite. 

They are the perfect bake on a dreary winter's day!

What are Meyer Lemons anyway?

Slightly less tart than regular lemons, Meyer lemons can be substituted for lemons 1:1 in any baking application. The skin is a bit thinner and smoother, and the taste is sometimes described as a cross between a lemon and an orange. 

According to US Citrus, "In 1905, a somewhat eccentric gentleman named Frank Meyer, who worked for the USDA, was sent to China by his employer. A couple of years into his mission, he noticed a yellow fruit growing outside a Chinese home. Regardless of being told the fruit was decorative only, Meyer took a cutting and shipped it to Washington." 

Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies

So naturally, cookies made with them are like sunshine cookies. And you know what else takes these cookies right over the top?

Brown Butter. Oh yeah.

brown butter in glass measuring cup

If you've never made brown butter, it's super easy and transforms butter into this deep, nutty thing of beauty. It's not just for baking...this week, we had pasta with roasted broccoli, peas, and brown butter. It was scrumptious. That's not a word I use to describe broccoli very often.

Here are a few more recipes that call for brown butter:

Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies

Frosted Meyer Lemon-Brown Butter Cookies 
{makes about 24}

for the cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
7 ounces plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage 2%)
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
zest from 1 Meyer lemon
2 & 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar

for the frosting:
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb. box powdered sugar
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 TBSP Meyer lemon juice

Brown the butter in a small saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently. The butter will spatter, then foam. Once it starts to foam, stir continuously over the heat, paying close attention to the butter under the foam. Once the butter smells nutty and is golden, remove from heat. Pour into a container, and refrigerate until cooled and solidified. (Brown butter can go from golden to burnt in a few seconds, so I always lean towards "golden" rather than "brown."

Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together the yogurt, zest, and juice. Set aside. (Meyer lemons are really thin-skinned, so I like to use a micoplane for zesting.)

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat the brown butter and sugar together until well combined.

Stir in the yogurt mixture. Add the flour in three additions, stirring between each until combined.

The dough will be soft and resemble biscuit dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes for the puffiest cookies. (Oh, and the dough is SO yummy...if you're into the raw dough thing like I am.)

Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the cookie sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until done. Remove from the pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies

Make the frosting:
With a paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. 

On low speed, add in half of the powdered sugar and the lemon zest. Beat until combined.

Add the other half of the sugar and the lemon juice. Beat on low until combined, then increase the speed to medium until smooth.

Use an offset spatula to frost the cookies. Store in the fridge.

(Alternately, make a glaze instead of the frosting. Combine powdered sugar and Meyer lemon juice to the consistency you'd like and pour over the cookies. Would both be overkill? Who am I to judge?!?)

Frosted Meyer Lemon Brown Butter Cookies

Let's hear it for Little Miss Sunshine: the Meyer lemon! 

*this post/recipe has been updated for 2022

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