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Whip up sweet or savory for National Egg Month
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Whip up sweet or savory for National Egg Month

May marks National Egg Month, and this budget-friendly nutrient powerhouse deserves to be celebrated.

Eggs are nutrient-rich and widely acknowledged to be part of a heart-healthy diet at any age. One large egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein, all nine essential amino acids, vitamin B12, biotin, choline and more. Eggs also are known to support brain, bone, muscle and eye health, according to the Egg Nutrition Center.

And when it comes to eggs, Virginia produces plenty—even ranking 10th nationally in the production of broilers, poultry and eggs in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service. Virginia’s poultry industry employs as many as 17,522 people across the commonwealth, generates an additional 37,485 jobs in related fields, provides a direct economic impact of $5.8 billion and overall contributes $13.6 billion in economic activity in Virginia, according to a recent U.S. Poultry & Egg Association economic impact study.

Celebrate National Egg Month by whipping up this classic eggs Benedict recipe for brunch or breakfast—the perfect dish for spotlighting the egg’s rich yolk, which contains nearly half the egg’s protein and most of its vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for something sweet, try baking these egg-shaped lemon sandwich cookies to playfully honor May’s star ingredient.

Benedict Arnold’s Eggs Benedict

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon salt
8 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 English muffins, split, toasted
8 slices Canadian-style bacon, warmed
Chives, chopped


In a large saucepan or deep skillet, heat to boiling 2-3ʺ water, vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.

Adjust the heat to keep the liquid simmering gently.

Break eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Hold the bowl close to the pan’s surface, and gently slip the eggs into the water.

Cook eggs until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 3-5 minutes.

Do not stir; lift the eggs from the water with slotted spoon.

Drain the eggs on a platter lined with paper towels, and keep them warm.

To make the hollandaise sauce, in a small saucepan, whisk egg yolks, water and lemon juice until blended.

Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles alongside the inside of the pan.

Whisk in the butter until it melts and the sauce is thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat; stir in paprika and pepper.

To assemble, top each muffin half with 1 bacon slice, 1 egg and 1½ tablespoons of hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chives, and serve immediately.

 

Eggy Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Cookies:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Curd:

½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes


Buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1-2 tablespoons milk, warm
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

To make the cookies:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a stand mixer bowl, cream together shortening and butter until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy.

Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Stop the mixer; add the dry ingredients, and beat on low until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to get rid of any dry pockets. Wrap and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350˚, and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Roll half of the dough between two lightly floured pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured counter to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut the rolled dough with a 2-3ʺ egg-shaped cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Use a 1ʺ round or egg-shaped cookie cutter to cut yolk holes out of half of the egg cookies to form the top.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until just golden around the edges. Allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the lemon curd:

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs.

Stir in the butter, and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until the curd is thick enough to hold whisk marks and the first bubble appears on the surface (about 6 minutes).

Transfer the lemon curd to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least an hour.

To make the buttercream:

In a medium bowl, beat butter with an electric hand mixer until well softened.

Add powdered sugar, salt and lemon zest, and beat on low speed. Add the milk and whip to combine. Mix in the poppy seeds.

Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a medium round tip. Leave buttercream at room temperature until ready to pipe.

To assemble the cookies, flip each whole egg cookie so the bottom is facing up; pipe buttercream frosting around the edge.

Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of lemon curd into the center of each cookie. Top with a cookie with a hole, press gently to sandwich, and spoon another teaspoon of lemon curd into each cookie hole.

Store in the fridge, and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

—Recipes adapted from the American Egg Board.

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