Jonathan Dwyer Lemon Cookies with Antonio Brown Butter

You know who looked good in last night's game? Numbers 27 and 84, Johnny Dwyer and Tony Brown. I don't know if they would be cool with some blogger girl calling them Johnny and Tony, but maybe they'd consider letting it slide if they tried these cookies I baked for them...

Preseason has been difficult to watch so far, between the penalties (though, in the case of last night's game, maybe not all have been deserved) and the special teams gaffs (those have been egregious and frequent). These Meyer - I mean, Dwyer - lemon cookies are a little tart too, but sweeter than an 0-3 start. Let's focus on the positives: the offense looked a lot stronger and more consistent against Kansas City than in the first two games. Dwyer had a sweet touchdown catch(!) in the first quarter after the Steelers started on the Kansas City 21 yard line. Dwyer's TD, amongst a few other plays by the running back, were some of the highlights in the Steelers' performance. It was pretty great to see Polamalu making contributions again, as well as consistent efforts from Keisel, Hood and rookie Jarvis Jones. (Jones left the game in the fourth quarter with what has been cited as a "chest injury.") A near-highlight was Antonio Brown's big catch early in the second quarter, but the yardage was ultimately negated by a very questionable chop block flag on Dwyer. Brown, after the game:

“'It wasn’t good enough,' said Brown, who caught three passes for 61 yards. 'We’ve got a lot of work to do.'” (Washington Post)

I still have faith that the Steelers will be able to correct some of the mistakes that have held them back in preseason and thought I should show my support for Dwyer, Brown and the rest of the squad by baking them some cookies!

The Brown Butter Blueberry Cookies recipe from A Cozy Kitchen is possibly my favorite cookie recipe ever, so I thought the brown butter method might translate well to some tarter Meyer lemon cookies. This is what it should look like when the butter is finished:

It's not pretty, but it sure is tasty! I used the Bake at 350 blog's recipe for Meyer Lemon-Brown Butter Cookies as a primer and made a few adjustments to the ingredients and the process. If you took my advice in the Meyer Levon Kirkland Sorbet recipe and froze all of the leftover Meyer lemon zest, take it out to thaw and toss it in here! If not, you'll need the zest of two Meyer lemons, which works out just fine, because you'll still need the juice of four. If you should happen to opt for average, garden variety lemons, you'll just end up with a slightly tarter treat. The juice from four Meyer lemons yielded exactly 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (1/2 cup for the cookie dough, 2 tbsp for the frosting). Perfect! 

I don't know that I've ever baked with yogurt before, so this was a first. Halfway through, it occurred to me that there are NO eggs in this recipe! I double checked a few times to make sure I wasn't missing something. That means the delicious dough is A-OKAY to taste as you bake (not that that's ever stopped me before). 

The cookies were very flat and soft when they came out of the oven, so I may opt for bread flour on the next go-round. The frosting makes them much more substantial.

Cookie time!

Jonathan Dwyer Lemon Cookies with Antonio Brown Butter
Recipe adapted from Bake at 350

For the cookies
8 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
7 oz (1 package) plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 drops yellow food coloring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar

For the frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 lb box of confectioners sugar
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 tbsp Meyer lemon juice

Place butter in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Keep a close eye on the butter as it melts, stirring gently. When butter begins to sizzle and foam, stir and scrape bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. It should take about 5-10 minutes before you start to notice brown bits forming on the bottom and the color starting to change. Once browned, remove from heat, pour into a small bowl and place in freezer to cool. 

When you've juiced the Meyer lemons, pour juice through a sieve to ensure all pulp and seeds have been removed. Transfer 2 tbsp of the juice into a separate bowl and set aside for the frosting. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together yogurt, 1/2 cup lemon juice, zest, vanilla and food coloring (optional, of course) in a medium bowl. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl. Remove brown butter from freezer and cream together brown butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with hand mixer on medium speed. Mix in 1/3 flour mixture, then half lemon-yogurt, 1/3 flour, remaining lemon-yogurt and remaining flour, scraping down sides of bowl as you mix. Scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2-2 inches apart (mine were only 1 inch apart and got a little too cozy in the oven). Bake for 13-16 minutes (remove if the edges start to brown too much). Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on racks. 

Beat cream cheese in medium mixing bowl with hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in 1/2 package of confectioners sugar, followed by lemon zest, then remaining sugar and lemon juice. The frosting will become very thick as you add the sugar - the lemon juice will bring it to the right consistency. Frost cookies using an offset spatula or pastry bag. 

Makes about 20 cookies. 

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