The Buddha’s Hand is beautiful, creepy, fascinating, and hauntingly fragrant. But once we’re finished looking at it and smelling it, we never quite know what to do with it. Whereas other novelty fruits get admired and then eaten, you won’t find many cookbooks that are overflowing with Buddha’s Hand recipes.
A variety of citron, it is basically a giant gnarled yellow fruit that is covered with finger-like protrusions. If you cut it open, you won’t find much; just a mass of white pith. But the fragrance is so intense – like a lemon on steroids – that you just want to sit around on some sort of tropical lanai inhaling the scent of Buddha’s Hand all day.
Earlier this week, we decided to do something with the Buddha’s Hand so that it wouldn’t feel so left out and under-appreciated. We grated the pith and decided to make a super-intense version of Lemon Crinkle Cookies. These cookies are adapted from The Kitchen Paper, but this lemon crinkle cookie recipe seems to be just about everywhere, so it may sound familiar.
Buddha’s Hand Lemon Drop Cookies
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 heaping tablespoon grated Buddha’s Hand zest
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the Buddha’s Hand zest until evenly combined (you can use your hands if it’s easier that way). Add the butter and cream to combine; add the eggs and continue mixing. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix until smooth. Then gradually stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into small quarter-sized balls and then toss gently in the powdered sugar until lightly coated. Place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
You decide – creepy or sweet? Many thanks to Melissa’s Produce for the beautiful Buddha’s Hands.
Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s provided us with Buddha’s Hand to sample. We did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are our own.