Lemon Shortbread Cookies
A light twist on a holiday classic, this recipe for Lemon Shortbread Cookies doubles, triples and multiplies as deep as ten times in a snap. It’s a soft dough and therefore not ideal as a rolled, cut cookie, but perfect as a refrigerator cookie. Simply roll and slice.
Butter, icing sugar and flour. There is no more classically, simple cookie than the smooth, buttery shortbread. Whether they’re sweet or savory; shortbread cookies are a fast, deliciously satisfying treat and these lemon shortbreads are sure to please.
I’ve made this recipe commercially, so I can vouch for how well it holds, travels and multiplies. Beautiful at summer weddings, lightly adorned with royal icing, it also makes a beautiful Christmas cookie, that is elegant and effortless.
Lemon Shortbread Cookies Recipe
Prep time: 40 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 – 15 cookies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup coarse sugar (optional)
1. Cream together butter and icing sugar in bowl, either by hand or using an electric mixer, until smooth. Add lemon zest and vanilla and beat lightly. Then add flour and coarse salt and mix just until blended. Dough should be the texture of a course meal and bind easily together with finger tips.
2. Transfer dough to large piece of plastic wrap and roll into a smooth log, then warp it tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 20 – 30 minutes.
3. Remove dough from fridge, unwrap and place on a cutting board, then cut dough into 1/4 inch disks. If you wish you can recut the edgels with a flour dipped cookie cutter to make shape more uniform or scallop your edges. Then roll top and sides of cookie disk in coarse sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then return them to the fridge and chill cookies until ready to slip immediately into the oven. Ideally, chill about 10 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake cookies until edges and bottom are barely golden around edges; about 12 – 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.
Plan ahead: You can make a batch or two of Lemon Shortbread Cookies as far out as three days ahead, or because they store beautifully in a roll in your fridge for a week or more, you can bake them quickly when company arrives.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature, out of reach of cookie monsters.