Easy Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Posted on January 18, 2012

Lemon Shortbread Cookies 12

So here’s the thing.  I used to hate lemon desserts. And I used to hate shortbread. But that was when I thought all lemon desserts tasted like the filling to lemon meringue pie (still grosses me out) and all shortbread was boring and flavorless.

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But at some point in the last couple of years, something clicked.  And while it would do my body good to become more picky about what range of desserts I will eat, my palate started to appreciate those two categories of sweets.

Some things can have a lovely lemon flavor but they don’t have to be sickeningly sweet.  Shortbread can be chewy and buttery and wonderful.  Who knew?

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So when I had a minor baking mishap in the kitchen a few weeks ago and ended up half-way to shortbread dough, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to throw away the pound of butter that I’d already creamed.  Instead, I should make lemons out of lemonade take advantage of the ingredients I had on hand and make something else.

The end result was a pleasant surprise.  Chewy shortbread cookies with just the right amount of lemon- not overpowering, but refreshing.  And refreshing is good when biting into a rich shortbread cookie.

If you want an even stronger lemon flavor, you could probably add some lemon zest to your batter.  But I’m still easing into this lemon dessert thing so I’ll stop while I’m ahead.
Easy Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Yield: Makes 5 1/2 dozen cookies

4 cups all purpose flour
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons lemon juice (~3 lemons)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or slipat; set aside
Sift flour; set aside
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy
Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat until well combined
Stir in flour
Scoop with a medium cookie dough scoop (2 tablespoons each) onto prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart
Bake for ~15 minutes or until very light brown around the edges
Allow cookies to cool on cooling rack

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What type of dessert did you used to hate but learn to love?


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