Here’s an idea for a cookie that is crisp and refreshing, and just right when you’ve had enough chocolate if that is possible. A whisper of spring in the middle of winter, guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone who takes a bite. We present to you this Lemon Shortbread Cookie with a Lemon Glaze, chock full of lemon juice and zest.
This recipe comes to us from my blogging partner, Tricia. She used a semi-traditional shortbread recipe, but then really punched up the lemon in these cookies. This means lemon zest and plenty of it.
And since this is the holiday season, let’s make sure to get all of our festive holiday gear involved. The cookie is close to a traditional shortbread, with flour, powdered sugar, and lemon zest. An egg is also added, which is not traditional, but gives our cookie a little more lift.
Once you get everything mixed up and Christmas carols are playing on the stereo, form them into balls and arrange on your cookie sheet that has hopefully been lined with parchment paper. To evenly smoosh them down, just use the flat end of a drinking glass…
Onto the sheets they go, and right into the oven for about 10 minutes. Bring them out, let them cool on a rack, then you can either pop them in the refrigerator or into the freezer if you are not going to devour them at this very minute. Let’s get moving on that glaze while all of the chilling is going on. The glaze comes together in minutes, and is confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, and – you may have guessed it – more zest.
OK — time to glaze. Get those cookies out and onto a cooling rack with waxed paper underneath to avoid an incident with glaze all over your counter tops. Spoon the glaze right on, and return to the refrigerator to set up in a flash. Here’s a tip: If you have frozen the cookies, you can remove from the freezer and spoon the glaze over, and it will set immediately. Pretty cool, no pun intended.
Go on, have a couple. You deserve it!!
Hope you enjoy!! xoxxo
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (we like double-strength vanilla from Penzey’s)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest, divided (about 3 lemons)
- 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a large bowl, beat butter, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating well. Scrape sides of bowl.
- In another large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 teaspoons lemon zest (or more). Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until mixture forms a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into about 1-inch (or a bit larger) balls, and place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (You may want to flatten the top of the balls using the bottom of a glass.) Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly crackled on the top. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest at medium speed until smooth. Be careful not to get the glaze too thin; begin with 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice and add to more to obtain desired consistency.
- Put down wax paper on counter, then cooling rack on top of the wax paper. Spoon glaze over cooled cookies. Optional: Scrape up leftover glaze from wax paper and top cookies again.
- Time Saver: Once these are cool, you can wrap them (unglazed) tightly and freeze for several weeks. When ready to use, pull from freezer and either glaze immediately or allow to thaw for a few hours and then glaze. Keep glazed cookies in an airtight container.