Recipe courtesy of Samantha Seneviratne

Lemon Meringue Thumbprint Cookies

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: about 20 cookies
Share This Recipe


Lemon Curd: 

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 1/3 cup juice (about 3 lemons)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar, plus more for rolling

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest


1/2 cup sugar

2 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Special equipment:
a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and a small kitchen torch (optional)
  1. For the curd: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest. Bring the mixture just to a simmer over medium, stirring constantly, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve (use a rubber spatula to help work the curd through). Add the butter to the strained curd and stir to combine. Let the curd cool completely.
  2. For the cookies: Position the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  5. Scoop the dough in 1-tablespoon mounds onto the prepared sheets. Roll in between your palms to make perfect rounds, then roll them in sugar and put them back on the sheets at least 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies until just puffed, about 6 minutes. Remove them from the oven and, using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make a small well in the center of each cookie. Rotate the sheets and return them to the oven and bake until set and light golden, about 8 minutes more. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Stir the cooled curd to loosen it. Scoop about 1/2 teaspoon of curd into the well in each cookie.
  7. For the meringue: Bring some water to a very low simmer in a small saucepan. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and egg whites. Set the egg whites over the saucepan; make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk the mixture until the sugar is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Rub a bit between your thumb and forefinger to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  8. Arrange all of the filled cookies on an unlined baking sheet.
  9. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip (I used Ateco #822). Just off the center, top each cookie with a meringue swirl.
  10. Preheat the broiler and broil the cookies until the meringue is toasted and golden brown, rotating the baking sheet as needed. Alternatively, you can use a small kitchen torch to lightly brown each of the meringue tops.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

How to Make Truffles

Learn how to make a chocolate lover's favorite treat: the classic truffle made from smooth chocolate ganache.