A shortbread cookie is a wonderful thing. I enjoy them. I’ve definitely made them before. When it came time to look for dessert recipes to make for nine people on Easter while concurrently baking a ham, mashing potatoes, roasting asparagus, and mixing mac and cheese, the simplicity of a shortbread cookie recipe won once again!
These cookies were a huge hit, thank goodness.
After five hours of cooking and baking that afternoon, I’m surprised I still have the desire to even look at food photos from that day. Ha!
Resisting the urge to nibble on the batch was hard, but I managed. Though, I did have to scold one friend for stealing one before the dinner. Lovingly, but of course.
A sloppy Jackson Pollack-esque drizzle of multi-colored options made it a sweeter affair. Who doesn’t love a pop of color along with a tart buttery cookie?
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
(Makes 12 – 16 cookies)
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit’s recipe for Lemon Shortbread Cookies)
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
– 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– Generous pinch of kosher or sea salt
Before We Get Started…
– This recipe is a great example of a “no electric mixer needed!” recipe. I currently don’t have an electric hand mixer, and with all of the cacophony of an Easter Dinner happening in my tiny Manhattan kitchen, I was not about to drag out the Kitchen Aid to make just a dozen cookies. If your butter is soft enough at room temperature, you can cream the sugar and confectioners’ sugar by hand and still get a great shortbread. So, if you are mixer-less, do not fret! You’ll still end up with a great cookie. I guarantee it!
1.) Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.) In a large bowl, beat butter at a low to medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and combine well. Add in lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until combined.
3.) Mix (or preferably sift together) flour and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
For rolled and cut cookies:
– On top of parchment paper or on a floured board or sheet pan that can fit in your fridge, roll out dough until approximately 1/4″ thick. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. After removed from fridge, cut cookies to preferred shapes. Move onto a lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to cooling rack.
For hand-rolled cookies:
– Place bowl on dough in fridge for 20 minutes. After removing from fridge, roll dough between hands to form approximately 1″ balls. Flatten with hands until dough is approximately 1/4″ thick. (Eyeball it). Place onto a lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to cooling rack.