Sweet and buttery, Lemon Shortbread Cookies are simple cookies perfect for holidays, special events or just as a treat for lemon lovers.
This post may contain affiliate links which I earn a small portion in sales if a purchase is made. Rest assured though, it is never at any additional cost to you.
This morning the birds outside our window were chirping up a storm. A sound we haven’t heard in months at that time of the morning.
My husband, not being a morning person, didn’t find the same magic in it that I did.
I have to admit though, I was as excited about hearing his grumblings as I was about the happy little chirping because his morning grumps are quite entertaining. But this is beside the point.
Hearing that enthusiastic little bird was a reminder that Spring is here and it is putting me in the mood for all my favorite Spring recipes like Simple Strawberry Salmon Salad, Springtime Pasta Salad and Avocado Egg Salad.
It also was a reminder to start preparing for Easter.
Honestly, what is better treat for the complete lemon lover than buttery, melt in your mouth Lemon Shortbread Cookies.
These cookies were completely soul satisfying for my lemon loving heart and my family adored them too.
What Is Shortbread
A traditional Scottish cookie (biscuit), shortbread is made of 1 part sugar to 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour. Often you will find the traditional recipes to be made with oat flour and or a combination of oat flour and cornstarch. Here in the U.S. most shortbread recipes will be made with all-purpose flour.
How To Make Melt In Your Mouth Lemon Shortbread Cookies
There are a few tricks to making Out of This World lemon shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth.
- Room temperature butter allows for a better texture with this particular cookie. In addition, it is easier to mix with the lemon zest.
- Properly measuring the flour will make a world of difference in creating the melt in your mouth texture. To do so, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level with a butter knife. This step will prevent the flour from becoming too compacted, thereby creating a dry cookie.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment will make this already easy cookie a complete breeze to make. Not sure which stand mixer is for you? You will want to check out this article.
- Don’t over mix the dough. It is also important to not over mix the butter and sugar as you do not want to add extra air into the dough. Mix the sugar and butter until just combined and then add in the flour and mix until it just comes together.
- Sparkling Sugar mixed with lemon zest for the top of the cookies not only makes these gorgeous, but also adds in a little extra tasty pizzaz.
Cutting Shortbread Cookies
There are two approaches for cutting the shortbread cookies.
- Cut by hand using an approximate guess of what 1 inch by 3 inches would look like. There are no worries as the cookies do not need to be perfectly cut in those dimensions.
- Use this cookie cutter.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can I use salted butter for these cookies?
Yes and no. I have, in a pinch, used salted butter in baking when I did not have unsalted on hand. It does change the sweetness of these cookies slightly and it is extremely important to eliminate the salt if doing so.
Your best bet though for the highest quality of cookie will be to follow the recipe exactly, using unsalted butter.
Do these Lemon Cookies freeze well?
If placed in an airtight freezer container these cookies will stay fresh for 6-8 weeks.
What events are these cookies best for?
Easter, Christmas, baby showers, summer holidays and get togethers are all perfect times to make these lemon cookies. Also, if you love lemons, these cookies are wonderful anytime of year.
What is the best way to zest a lemon?
For these lemon cookies a fine zest will work best. This tool is my favorite for doing this.
How can I use the leftover zested lemons?
More Springtime Desserts
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- 2 lg lemons zested
- 3/4 lb unsalted butter *room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *see notes above one how to measure
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 lg lemon zested
- 1/4 cup Sparkling Sugar
- Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment mix together softened butter with zest of 2 lemons making sure to scrape down sides halfway through mixing.
- Mix granulated sugar with butter just until combined and then mix in lemon extract.
- Sift together flour and salt. With stand mixer turned off, add all of the flour mixture and mix on the lowest speed until dough just comes together, about 2 mins.
- Place dough on lightly floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Zest 3rd lemon and mix with sparkling sugar.
- Roll chilled dough into 1/2 inch thickness and form into a rectangle as best as possible. Using a sharp knife cut cookies into 1 inch by 3 inch rectangles.
- Using a spatula place cookies on 2 ungreased cookie sheets. Evenly sprinkle each cookie with sparkling sugar mixture.
- Bake for 20-25 mins or until corners turn a light golden brown, making sure to turn cookie trays halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on cookie sheets.