With the Easter Bunny hopping into town, why not use your PantryChic Smart Storage System to help bake up a batch of these incredibly cute and incredibly delicious Lemon Custard Cookie “Nests”?
Buttery shortbread cookie cups are filled with a sweet and tart lemon custard that is reminiscent of lemon bars, only way easier to pick up without the worry of sticky fingers. There’s also a larger proportion of cookie crust to filling, and with more sweetness and vanilla in the crust to give the nests some stability, while making them even more kid-friendly than traditional lemon bars that can be too tart for some.
Fun to make and even more fun to decorate, these are the perfect treat to make as a family on Easter Eve. Plus, if you sneak a few in the night you can just blame it on that Easter Bunny!
This recipe is made easiest if you are using PantryChic SmartCanisters to store all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and salt.
If you are not already storing all of these ingredients in their own SmartCanister, you can always use the PantryChic’s scale function to manually add an ingredient.
Start with the Cookie Cups
Use the PantryChic to dispense flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Fold in melted butter, vanilla extract, and a bit of water until you’ve created a pliable dough. The added water helps make the dough easier to work with than a typical shortbread dough, allowing you to better form it into cups.
To form the cups, split the dough between 12 greased muffin cups and press it thin and up the walls of each cup. You’ll want to ensure you get around 3/4 of the way up the muffin cups to have enough room for the filling!
These are pre-baked 15 minutes and then cooled 10 minutes, giving you plenty of time to prepare the filling.
A Quick and Easy Custard
The lemon custard filling is made all in one mixing bowl. Start by using the PantryChic to dispense sugar and flour. Finely mince the lemon zest and stir into the dry ingredients before whisking in eggs and lemon juice until smooth and combined.
The Fill and Final Bake
Fill each of the baked crusts with a small amount of the lemon custard filling, about 1 tablespoon in each cup. You want to get almost to the very top of the crust without going over. If you have a small amount of extra filling leftover, do not use it to overfill the cups as any custard that goes over the top of the crusts will cause them to stick to the muffin tin. The custard has a strong lemon flavor, so a little truly does go a long way!
These are baked 15 minutes before cooling on a wire rack. Once they are at room temperature, you can eat them right away, however they taste even better if you cover and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Whether you sneak a taste at room temperature after baking, I do recommend storing the leftovers in the refrigerator.
The Fun Part
Before serving you can gather the family and let your creativity run wild with garnishes to truly turn these cookie cups into “nests”. The simplest garnish is a few jelly beans in the center of each, however you can also find miniature candy coated chocolate eggs around Easter.
If you’d like to add a little grass to the nests, top them with sweetened shredded coconut, or for a better flavor, toasted coconut.
If you love the taste of chocolate and citrus, drizzle the nests in a patchwork pattern of melted chocolate.
Recipe: Lemon Custard Cookie “Nests”
Active Prep Time: 20 mins ∙ Cook Time: 30 mins ∙ Serves: 12
1 1/2 cups (187.5g) all-purpose flour (for crust)
1/3 cup (40g) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (23.5g) all-purpose flour (for filling)
Vegetable oil spray
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons (22g) water
3/4 teaspoon (3.5g) vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup (57.5g) fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. A nonstick muffin tin sprayed with vegetable oil is best in case any of the sugary custard touches the sides, as it will want to stick.
- Place a mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir together.
- To the flour mixture, fold in melted butter, water, and vanilla extract to make a pliable dough.
- Place an equal amount (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) of the dough into each of the 12 muffin cups. Press the dough thinly and up the sides of the muffin cup, making a shell that is as tall as you can get it, about 3/4 of the height of the cup. The higher you can form the crust, the more filling you will be able to put inside of it.
- Bake the crusts for 15 minutes, just until the tops are golden brown and coming away from the sides of the muffin tin. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before filling.
- Meanwhile, start the filling by placing a separate mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 3/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
- Very finely grate the lemon zest and stir into the sugar and flour mixture. Whisk in eggs and fresh lemon juice, until all is smooth and combined.
- Fill each of the baked crusts with a small amount of the lemon filling, about 1 tablespoon in each cup. You want to get almost to the very top of the crust without going over. If you have a small amount of extra filling leftover, do not use it to overfill the cups as any custard that goes over the top of the crusts will cause them to stick to the muffin tin.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the centers have puffed up slightly. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 2 additional hours before serving.
- Run a thin knife or rubber spatula around the edges of the crust to release them from the muffin tin. For a “nest” presentation, serve topped with a few jelly beans.