Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas is coming up.

Don’t look at me weird. I know you are looking at the computer screen really weird right now.

Am I lying? No. Technically, Christmas is coming up.

So what if that’s in like, 4 months?

Sue me for being excited, you non-excited-Christmas-person.

Anyway. I’m kind of a Christmas fanatic.

I used to think my favorite holiday was Halloween, until I realized Halloween is actually kind of crappy.

I like decorating the house. I like making Halloween treats. But I really dislike the holiday.

The pranks. The spending $100 on a costume that consists of a bikini top and some plastic skirt. The creepy music and movies. The fact that punk-ass kids do annoying things, like egging houses and smashing pumpkins and murdering people.

I just don’t like it.

I decided I liked Christmas more.

There’s no murdering people. No creepy music (unless you count the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas CD, which I do). No slutty nurse outfits. Just happy times, good food, catchy tunes and no pumpkin brains on your driveway.

Easy!

The one thing I have to admit about Christmas is that I’m one of those folks who goes Christmas shopping like, now.

Guaranteed by December 1st, I’ll be finished with Christmas.

People call me crazy. I call them procrastinators.

I can’t help it if I see something totally freakin’ awesome in September. I’ll hoard that cool thing til Christmas day rather than wait and buy it at an “appropriate” Christmas shopping time.

Whatever… freaks.

But I do have one teeeeeny problem with Christmas shopping. And all gift-related shopping in general.

I can’t buy presents.

Or rather, I can’t keep them a secret. I cannot keep a present a present, if you know what I mean.

As in, I like to tell everyone what I got them. Days, weeks, or months before it’s “due.”

I am horrible at keeping my own presents a secret.

Now don’t freak out: I can keep any other secret, even ones that involve other presents for people.

I just don’t respect myself enough to keep my own secrets.

I’ve been known to hound and barter people so I can tell them what I got them.

I’ve been known to cheat and lie.

I’m a horrible Christmas person, I know.

Christmas shopping is just too damn irresistible not to tell people what you got them months beforehand.

My mom Christmas shops in like, October. I don’t know how she doesn’t just freak out one day and start shouting, “CHLOE, YOU GOT AN IPOD. ALEX, YOU GOT AN XBOX. HAYLEY, I GOT YOU SOME CLOTHES FROM BETSEY JOHNSON. Phew, that’s better.”

Because I totally feel that way in the days leading up to Christmas.

Yesterday, I bought Jessie an early birthday present. His birthday’s November 30, just so you know.

I positively could not keep it in. I even baited him with the ol’ line, “I got you something for your birthday today.”

After he looked at me weird and probably questioned why he is dating a psychotic girl who buys November birthday presents in August, he said “what is it?” HE ASKED WHAT IT WAS rather than the usual “shut up and leave me alone, I don’t want to know” answer I get from everyone else. (Who WOULDN’T want to know their present? Jerks).

So I did what any secret-ruining addict would do. I dragged him along for the ride, pretending to be serious when I said “I can’t tell you” or “you have to wait and see” when really I was dying inside, about to word-vomit the secret the whole time.

Finally I caved. And drew him a picture: of a stick-figure band and me and him standing in the crowd, with text on the bottom saying “On November 6, you and I are going to see THRICE live.” (Thrice is one of his fave bands).

He was super-duper happy, and that made me even happier. If you wanna see something really cute, get Jessie to smile. Seriously.

And if you think about it, I had to tell him before his birthday, anyway. The concert is on the 6th. His birthday’s the 30th. So I was doing him a favor by telling him anyway. Otherwise, we’d obviously miss the concert. Duh.

And everyone else told me to wait… the nerve!

I know you’re probably thinking, ‘why is she talking about Christmas in August?’ Because I have gift ideas brewing, that’s why! And they are awesome gift ideas I cannot wait to buy them and then giggle like a hyena whenever I’m around the recipient, egging them on and pestering them to pester me to tell them their present.

Plus, Christmas is coming!!!

You know what reminds me of Christmas? Lemon.

Even though it’s traditionally a summer-time flavor, I really like lemon in the winter. It’s refreshing, sweet and tart, and looks so pretty. These lemon thumbprint cookies are no exception… and will be even more awesome in December, when I’m decking the halls and annoying the crap out of my friends and family.

Plus, they’re super-duper easy. Who doesn’t like easy cookies? Especially when you have Christmas shopping to do, right?

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies *from RedBook’s recipe 

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 jar store-bought lemon curd, or homemade, if you’re feeling Martha-y
Powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, then blot the excess spray with a paper towel. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the salt, and beat until it comes together. Gradually add flour, one cup at a time, and beat until it combines. Once a soft dough is formed, gather it with damp hands into a ball shape inside the bowl, since dough may be crumbly.
2. Roll small 1″ balls or portion out dough with a small cookie scoop onto your prepared baking sheets, about 1-2″ apart. Using a floured finger or thumb, hence the name, make an indent with your thumb in the center of each cookie, careful not to go through the bottom. You want a deep groove. Bake, approximately 18-20 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are light golden brown, rotating pans halfway through baking time if baking with more than one pan.
3. Immediately after removing them from the oven, place a small teaspoon-amount of lemon curd into the center of each cookie inside your thumbprint “well.” Return to the oven to bake the curd into the cookie for another 2-3 minutes; do not overbake. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes; then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust edges with powdered sugar.

You can’t get more summery than lemon, but it’ll still be welcome when you’re wrapping presents and wearing your Santa hat, too.

LOVE the buttery, crumbly texture of the cookie and the sweet and tangy-ness of the lemon curd. Totally rocks.

Happy Thursday!

xo, Hayley

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