Lemon Shortbread is perfection. Light and lemony.
The sun has been shining here in Portland and I’ve had a bowl of lemons on my counter calling my name all week. I finally gave in (didn’t take much) and made this lemon shortbread the other day. Sunshine and lemons just go together. Add in some butter and sugar and it’s a good day! I loved these lemon shortbread bars and I think I could have eaten the entire pan myself. It is a good thing I cut the recipe in half or I would have been in trouble!! The recipe halves really easily. The recipe calls for a 9 x 13 pan but I used an 8 x 8 pan and cut the recipe in half.
If you are going to work with lemons you need to make sure you have my favorite lemon tools! A microplane is essential for any recipe calling for lemon rind! And then a lemon juicer – perfect for getting every little bit of juice out of that lemon!!
This lemon shortbread would be a perfect addition to any cookie plate, tea party or the perfect treat for Mother’s Day this weekend. But you don’t have to wait for a holiday to try them. They are too good for that!
Shortbread originated in Scotland and is traditionally 1 part sugar to 2 parts butter. Shortbread has lots of butter but that is what makes it so good! This lemon shortbread also uses lemon infused sugar which gives it a perfect lemon flavor. Just use your fingers to mix the lemon zest into the sugar to release the oils and get that lemon goodness into the sugar.
The lemon sugar is combined with the butter, lemon juice and flour until it forms coarse crumbs.
This mixture is then pressed into the bottom of the pan and baked for about 25 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown.
The crowning touch is the lemon glaze which gives it even more lemon goodness. A dusting of lemon zest finishes them off.
For some other lovely lemon recipes check out this.
For the dough
- 4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest
- 1 pound 4 sticks or 32 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
For the glaze
- 1 C confectioners sugar
- 2 Tbsp. butter softened
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and zest - use your fingers to massage the zest into the sugar until very fragrant and combine.
- Add butter and beat mixture together until smooth.
- Add juice and mix until combined and creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add flour mixture and beat just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Scoop mixture into a 9" x 13" baking pan coated with nonstick spray.
- Place into the oven and bake until the top is lightly golden, about 25 to 35 minutes.
- Remove and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely
To prepare the glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, butter and lemon juice until smooth.
- Spread glaze over the cooled shortbread and sprinkle with lemon zest, if desired.
- Set aside and let stand at least 30 minutes before cutting.
- Makes about 40 cookies.
Recipe originally shared here on the blog April 1, 2009.
Want Tips for Working with Lemons?
Want my Top 10 Tips for working with lemons? Enter your email below and get the printable download instantly! You'll also be subscribed to my newsletter so you can stay updated on my latest recipes.