First up in our week o’ cookies lineup is the classic shortbread cookie.  Now, usually this is nothing more than butter, sugar and flour.  However, this one is very lightly flavored with lemon and vanilla.  Add a pinch of salt and it really helps accent the flavor.  This recipe is adapted from Sarabeth’s Bakery.

Lemony Shortbread Cookies

  • 8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (if you have a food processor, just pour in regular granulated sugar and give it a whirl)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until light (about a minute).  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar to get all the lemon flavor out of it.  In another bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Add the sugar mixture to the butter and beat until light and fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and salt a tablespoon at a time, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides.  Mix until well combined and the dough pulls away from the sides.

Divide dough into three sections, wrapping in plastic wrap and let sit in a cool place for a couple of hours. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Roll out to 1/4″ thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookies, placing them on a lined cookie sheet.  Chill for 20 minutes before baking for 15 minutes until just turning golden at the edges.

To decorate:  Me, I like my shortbread cookies plain.  However, you could sprinkle them with plain or colored sugar before baking.

so simple ... and so good!