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Hard Cooked Egg Cookies

I was flipping an old Joy of Cooking (1946 edition – and note that they don’t appear in more current additions) when I spotted Hard Cooked Egg Cookies. My first thought was that they were cookies that would have a dollop of curd or something in the center to resemble hard boiled eggs. They actually involve putting hard boiled eggs through a ricer and into the cookie dough itself! It sounded so interesting, that I had to give the recipe a try

I cheated and made the whole dough in the food processor, so I didn’t have to rice the eggs in advance. The recipe’s baking instructions were also limited to “Cook in a slow oven,” so I had to experiment a little bit with oven times and temperatures. The recipe called for dipping the unbaked cookies in egg whites and rolling them in sugar, and because there was no leavening in the cookies, I decided that perhaps they should be rolled and cut out like shortbread. I dipped a few teaspoon sized balls in the egg white, rolled them in sugar and baked them before rolling out the rest of the dough to compromise. They were ugly, but I think they had a slightly better crunch to the outside than the rolled cookies. The cutout cookies, which are pictureed above, by the way, were brushed with egg white and sprinkled with coarse sugar. I underbaked the cookies slightly, so they didn’t keep well; they were rather mushy the next day. But I got a request for another batch (baked longer this time!), so it definitely wasn’t all bad.

There was no way that you could guess that there were hard boiled eggs in these cookies. The cookies had a nice, light lemon flavor – which I would slightly increase next time – and a moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Here is the recipe, complete with how I would do it again: increase the lemon, increase the baking time, keep the rolling, but dip the but cookies into the egg white before dredging in sugar.

Hard Cooked Egg Cookies

Zest of 1 lemon + 1/2 tsp lemon extract

10 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter

4 hard cooked/boiled eggs, peeled

1 egg

3 cups ap flour

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together lemon zest, lemon extract, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor. Add in hard boiled eggs and process until fully incorporated. Mix in egg. Add flour and pulse until dough just comes together.

At this point you can chill the dough for a bit if your kitchen is very hot, otherwise roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4 inch thick and cut into rounds with a 2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter. Dip the cut cookies into the egg white then dredge in the sugar. Arrange on baking sheet – cookies will not spread – and bake until just beginning to brown at the edges, about 12 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 4 dozen.

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  • farmgirl
    June 25, 2005

    What an interesting recipe. Old cookbooks are so much fun to read. You never know what you’re going to find!

  • Ana
    June 25, 2005

    What an unusual recipe Nic. You know, in the old days when many people had farms, it probably was not unusual to collect too many eggs a day and look for ways to use them.

    My grandparents had a farm and my grandmother had chickens, ducks, etc., just for home consumption. She sometimes collected about 30 eggs a day from her free-range chickens. Of course we (friends and family) were the ones that gained when we got batches of free eggs from the farm.

  • Zarah Maria
    June 26, 2005

    I agree, very interesting recipe Nic! I’m amazed at what people have come up with for this IMBB!

  • Nic
    June 26, 2005

    Farmgirl – I agree. Often I want to try really strange things just for the novelty.

    Ana – I’m jealous you were able to get all those fresh eggs. Most people don’t even know there’s a difference between fresh and supermaket eggs until they’ve tasted them.

    Zarah – I’m always amazed by IMBB entries. People really push themselves!

  • chronicler
    June 26, 2005

    I concur! Very interesting indeed! They look so light and airy. With the lemony fragrance these must really be irresistable.

  • Helen (AugustusGloop)
    June 26, 2005

    Wow. An intriguing way to add eggs to cookies!

    Love your original contribution to IMBB. Great photo too.

  • Nic
    June 27, 2005

    Chronicler – You know, they were. I didn’t think I’d want too many, but I really couldn’t stop eating them. (At least not the ones I baked all the way through!)

    A.G. – Thanks. I actually made that trivet that the cookies are sitting on when I was at school.

  • melissa
    June 27, 2005

    Wow, very interesting find. I wonder why it was left out of subsequent versions of the book? Maybe in those days people used to precook their excess eggs because they held up better without refrigeration, and therefore needed recipes that used the cooked eggs…?

  • Alice
    June 27, 2005

    Wow, what an unusual recipe! They look really good! It does seem bizarre to add cooked eggs to cookie dough, though!

  • Nic
    June 27, 2005

    Melissa – I like that theory!

    Alice – I agree. I spotted a german recipe that called for two hard cooked egg yolks to be mixed in a few days ago. Somehow that makes more sense than using the whole egg.

  • eatzycath
    June 27, 2005

    dear nic – what a gem, hard-boiled eggs in cookies! Thanks for sharing such a novelty.

  • Anonymous
    November 10, 2005

    I have for years looked for this recipe! Thank you so much for finding it! They are wonderful!

  • Anonymous
    December 3, 2005

    Had a wonderful friend’s family recipe for cookies with hard cooked egg yokes as well as raw eggs. Once the dough was made, it was rolled into logs about 1.5 inches in diameter, wrapped in foil and put in the freezer. When friends would drop in during the holidays, one could take out a log, slice off enough cookies, bake at 350 for 8 minutes, and voila! — fresh baked cookies to share. They were delicious melt-in-your mouth sorta like light short bread cookies. Happy holidays! Claudia

  • Natalie Galusha
    December 22, 2005

    Wow! Nice to see that other families use this recipe! My grandmother’s family is from Serbia and this is one of her traditional cookies. She called them “Lezindoich” or lemon dough. We still make it in the traditional way with ricing the eggs and mixing the dough by hand…not an easy feat when we have to make an extra big batch with 18 or more hard cooked eggs!

    Well glad to see it out there and I hope everyone enjoys it!

  • Kathy
    April 6, 2007

    The head nurse on my unit at the hospital used to make these cookies…I have to admit I thought she had misunderstood the recipe and boiled the eggs by mistake!!! The cookies were so good, though, that no one ever challenged her on the recipe.

  • Zoe
    April 13, 2007

    I want to make these cookies, but I’m wondering if I can sub the lemon ingredients. Can I use bottled lemon peel instead of fresh lemon zest, and how much do you think would be equivalent to the zest of one lemon? Also, can I use lemon juice instead of lemon extract, and how much should I use?

  • Nicole
    April 22, 2007

    Lemon extract is much stronger than lemon juice, so a 1:1 substitution would not produce the results you’re looking for. Stick with lemon zest and/or lemon extract. Or try orange, if you have that

  • Nicole
    April 22, 2007

    Sorry guys – I’m turning comments off on this post because it is a favorite of spammers!

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