Lemony shortbread.

The Husband and I went to a good friend’s for a breakfast feast last weekend. Seriously, check out this mountain of greasy, salty, chewy, crunchy, delectable pig meat.

This reminds me of one of my favourite Simpsons exchanges from the episode where Lisa becomes a vegetarian.

Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal!
Homer: Yeah right, Lisa, a wonderful, magical animal!

Some wonderful, magical animal indeed! There were only five of us eating and we managed to polish off that entire plate (along with the whole wheat pancakes, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns that accompanied it).

There was no way I was going to a friend’s place empty handed! I was reading one of my regular baking blogs, Baking and Boys, the other day and Katrina made these beautiful lime meltaway cookies. She adapted the recipe from the Martha Stewart show. These would be perfect for an after-breakfast sweet treat, light and refreshing due to the citrus.

I never have limes on hand but there are always lemons in my fridge so I made lemon shortbread.

Lemon Shortbread (adapted from Katrina of Baking and Boys! who adapted it from Martha. Whew! That’s quite the chain of continuity)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar (1/3 cup goes into the cookie dough, 2/3 cup, give or take, is for rolling)

finely grated zest of 2 lemons

the juice from one lemon

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (I used fleur de sel)

Pure vanilla extract that I brought home with me from Mexico. I can’t believe I used to buy the fake stuff. It just doesn’t compare! I implore you to spend money on the real thing. Or just book a trip to Mexico and get it there.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla, beating until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Don’t worry if the lemon juice doesn’t fully incorporate into the butter mixture. It’ll all come together into a glorious harmonious dough after you add the flour mixture.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt. Add that to the butter mixture and mix on low until just combined. I always throw a towel over the bowl of the mixer so that my counter (and me!) doesn’t get covered in the white stuff.

Divide the dough in half. Place each half on some plastic wrap or parchment paper. Roll up to form a 1 1/4 inch-wide log (8-10 inches long). As you can see, I’m a terrible judge of size. These are much smaller in diameter than the recipe calls for. No problemo. Chill the logs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the logs into 1/4 inch rounds. Space about 1 inch apart on baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper.

You can see all those beautiful little yellow flecks of lemon zest.

Bake for 13-18 minutes, until they are barely golden in color.

Let cookies sit on baking sheets on cooling racks for about 5 minutes. While still warm, carefully toss the cookies in the remaining 2/3 cup of powdered sugar in a plastic bag or bowl. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

After powdering the cookies and letting them rest, I noticed they were a bit sticky as I was moving them into the container for transport. Don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the texture or flavour at all. You won’t even notice as you’re chowing down.

Ready to go!

I made them so small that it lulled me into thinking I could eat more of them in one sitting. Five of these equals one regular shortbread cookie, right? I’m sure I’ve got my math right.

These cookies are delicious. They’ve got that perfect crumbly texture and decadent buttery flavour. They’re lusciously tart and not too sweet, with a subtle sugary finish from the dusting of powdered sugar on the outside.

They taste like little bursts of sunshine in your mouth.

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5 thoughts on “Lemony shortbread.

  1. Sorry I was a little late to reply to your email. Thanks for the linky love. 😉
    I love these cookies. And yes, smaller ones does mean the same as at least 5….or 6.

  2. Pingback: Reading Digest: Aussie Edition « Dead Homer Society

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