These were a lovely shortbread recipe that came together in a matter of minutes! These cookies did need quite a while to cool in the fridge so factor that in when you’re planning on making them and make sure that you have plenty of fridge space for all the cookies! I decided to make these after a particularly bad baking day last week. I talked with one of my best friends in the whole world for an hour or two over FaceTime and she inspired me to bake these! I had been wanting to make a lemony dessert for some time; I haven’t been able to let go of the summery feeling that lemons bring and decided to capitalize on this. I grabbed a lemon at the store and was able to make do with what else I had at home. I really loved how crisp and short that these turned out! I haven’t had a ton of luck with shortbread in the past but these were great cookies to start with.
The recipe only calls for a teaspoon or two of lemon zest but I ended up zesting a whole lemon into the dough and it wasn’t too much for me. The dough, sans the lemon zest, is actually a great shortbread base that could be added to to make a ton of different kinds of shortbread. I’ll be experimenting with this in the future so I’ll keep you all posted if I find a good derivative of this recipe for another flavor. The dough also held its shape really well after being rolled out and chilled. I’ve had issues with this in the past and it’s made me wary of using some of my trickier cookie cutouts but go wild here! The cookies will hold so find your craziest cookie cutter and get baking! Let me know in the comments below how it works out for you and happy baking!
Lemon Shortbread Recipe
- 113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature (indents when you poke it)
- 29 grams (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons packed lemon zest (I zest the whole lemon but I love lemon)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 grams (1 cup) All Purpose flour
- pinch of kosher salt (between 1/8 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon)
- Granulated sugar for rolling
- Line two baking sheets. (The dough can be made 3 days in advance and just chill in the fridge until needed)
- Beat together butter and powdered sugar. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla extract
- Beat in flour and kosher salt and beat until just blended.
- Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Place plastic-wrapped disk into the fridge and chill until firm, 20-30 minutes
- Position a rack in the top and bottom third of the oven and preheat oven to 350F.
- Transfer dough from plastic wrap onto a sugared surface. It replicates the non-stick that flour helps with but coats the dough deliciously.
- Cut out shapes in the dough with a cookie cutter or lid of a mason jar or with the lid of a clean drinking glass.
- Place cut outs on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and chill for 10 minutes. Coat lightly with sugar before putting them back in the fridge.
- Bake cookies until light brown, 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully, the cookies around the edge of the cookie sheet with brown faster.
- Transfer to a rack to cool and enjoy!