Yesterday I needed a break from the weekend chores so I decide to make some shortbread cookies. They are easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand. This recipe is adapted from one given to Aunt Janet by Mrs. Beaten, a Scottish neighbor of hers when she lived in Hilo, HI. These cookies have a great lemony flavor and are perfect with a cup of tea.
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Beaten
Yields 2 dozen cookies
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon (preferably meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, finely chopped for garnish
For the Glaze
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained of pulp and seeds
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add lemon zest. Add the flour, a little bit at a time and blend well. Transfer the dough on the counter top or pastry board and work it together by hand to form the dough. Roll out the dough to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness on a floured surface. Use a knife to cut into small squares, rectangles, or diamonds or use a cookie cutter to cut rounds, hearts, or flower-shaped cookies. Arrange cookies on ungreased baking sheet (I always use a Silpat silicone mat) and bake until the bottom edges are just starting to brown, about 25 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, lemon zest and powdered sugar until creamy. If needed, add more lemon juice, a little at a time, until the correct consistency is achieved. The glaze should be thick enough to stay on the cookie. If the glaze is too thin, it will slide off. Adjust the consistency by adding more lemon juice if it is too thick or by adding some more sifted powdered sugar if too runny. Take each cookie and dip just the tops into the bowl. Lift and tilt to allow excess glaze to drip off. Garnish with the chopped lemon thyme.
Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and allow glaze to set up and harden. Allow to harden for at least 2 hours before storing. Store in an airtight container between sheets of parchment or wax paper.
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