Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon shortbread cookies, a delicate, buttery cookie that's fancy enough for a party but easy enough for a treat anytime.

I have always liked lemon shortbread cookies – simple, delicate – they’re all about using good quality ingredients and handling them correctly. With the lovely lemon and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and you’ve got a cookie that’s fancy enough for a party but easy enough for a treat anytime. If you want to dress them up a little more, you can add some color before baking, or dust with a bit of decorating sugar, but I like to keep them simple.

The secret to perfect shortbread is to keep your ingredients cold, and don’t overwork the dough. Cold butter will not be absorbed by the flour. Instead, it will form tiny pockets in the dough, leaving a light, buttery texture. Over-mixing the dough will melt the butter, and may even start to develop the gluten in the flour, making it tough instead of flaky. Mix the dough until just blended – no more. Chill before rolling and baking. I had this demonstrated when my friend, Julie, visited. We both made the same recipe, but it tasted like two different recipes because of the way the dough was handled.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon homemade lemon extract or 1 1/2 teaspoon store bought lemon extract, or more to taste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (you could probably substitute a GF baking blend)

Directions

Cut together butter, sugar, zest and extract with a fork or pastry blender. Cut in flour until well blended, form into a ball with your hands. If dough seems dry, you can add a bit of lemon juice. It should be firm and not sticky. Cover and chill for 30 minutes (or you can chill overnight and bake the next day). Short cut: If you don’t want to roll out the dough after chilling, you can form it into a tube before chilling, and then cut slices and bake.

Heat oven to 350 F. I prefer to bake on air bake pans to avoid the risk of burning, and I line them with reusable parchment paper. Stoneware would probably also work well. If you don’t have a heavy pan, make sure you keep a close eye on the cookies to watch for burning.

Roll dough 1/4″ thick. Cut into shapes of your choice. I prefer diamonds. I try to roll out as evenly as possible, and do not re-roll the misshaped edge pieces. I just hand shape the odd bits into small rounds. Place on pan with small amount of space between cookies. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges just start to br0wn (this may go faster on thinner pans, slower on stoneware). Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Makes around 3 dozen cookies, 1″x1 1/2″.

Lemon shortbread cookies, a delicate, buttery cookie that's fancy enough for a party but easy enough for a treat anytime.

Rolling out the cookie dough and prepping it for the oven.

Lemon shortbread cookies, a delicate, buttery cookie that's fancy enough for a party but easy enough for a treat anytime.

Shortbread cookies, fresh out of the oven.

Lemon shortbread cookies, a delicate, buttery cookie that's fancy enough for a party but easy enough for a treat anytime.

Extreme cookie close up – note the little air pockets.

Lemon shortbread cookies, a delicate, buttery cookie that's fancy enough for a party but easy enough for a treat anytime.

One pretty plate of finished cookies.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies 2015-05-26 15:07:34

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2364 calories
243 g
366 g
141 g
27 g
88 g
489 g
26 g
53 g
6 g
42 g

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size
489g
Amount Per Serving

Calories 2364
Calories from Fat 1235

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 141g
216%

Saturated Fat 88g
439%

Trans Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 36g

Cholesterol 366mg
122%

Sodium 26mg
1%

Total Carbohydrates 243g
81%

Dietary Fiber 7g
30%

Sugars 53g
Protein 27g

Vitamin A85%Vitamin C13%
Calcium9%Iron17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Does this look wrong?

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup butter, cold
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. Zest of one lemon
  4. 1 tablespoon homemade lemon extract or 1 1/2 teaspoon store bought lemon extract, or more to taste
  5. 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Cut together butter, sugar, zest and extract with a fork or pastry blender.
  2. Cut in flour until well blended, form into a ball with your hands.
  3. If dough seems dry, you can add a bit of lemon juice.
  4. It should be firm and not sticky.
  5. Cover and chill for 30 minutes (or you can chill overnight and bake the next day).
  6. Short cut: If you don’t want to roll out the dough after chilling, you can form it into a tube before chilling, and then cut slices and bake.
  7. Heat oven to 350 F.
  8. I prefer to bake on air bake pans to avoid the risk of burning, and I line them with reusable parchment paper.
  9. Stoneware would probably also work well.
  10. If you don’t have a heavy pan, make sure you keep a close eye on the cookies to watch for burning.
  11. Roll dough 1/4″ thick.
  12. Cut into shapes of your choice.
  13. I try to roll out as evenly as possible, and do not re-roll the misshaped edge pieces.
  14. I just hand shape the odd bits into small rounds.
  15. Place on pan with small amount of space between cookies.
  16. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges just start to br0wn (this may go faster on thinner pans, slower on stoneware).
  17. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Notes

  1. The secret to perfect shortbread is to keep your ingredients cold, and don’t overwork the dough.

beta

calories
2364

fat
141g

protein
27g

carbs
243g

more

Common Sense Homesteading http://commonsensehome.com/
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Originally written in 2013, updated 2016.

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