Lemon Shortbread Cookies

February 5th, 2011 by Erin Gennow
Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

This cookie is based on the basic 1-2-3 Cookie Dough ratio – 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, 3 parts flour.  (Read more about cooking ratios here, Ratio by Michael Ruhlman). Any type of cookie can be created based on this common ratio.  I was going to add poppy seeds, but was out.  (Ah well, next time).  If you take out the vanilla, lemon zest, and salt, you have a plain shortbread cookie.  You can vary this recipe by adding in poppy seeds, rolling the cookie in ground nuts, changing out the flavoring extract, using some brown sugar in place of granulated sugar, etc.  This basic ratio will always give a shortbread cookie though.

Notice there isn’t any baking powder.  This keeps the cookie a little on the denser side.  Adding baking powder and altering the ratio of sugar, butter, and flour changes the texture of the cookies.  Next week I’ll show you a variation on the ratio and how it yields a different cookie.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Makes: 40


6 oz. granulated sugar (about 2/3 cup)

12 oz. butter, room temperature (3 sticks)

1 egg

3 lemons, zest only

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

18 oz. all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)

Pinch of fine sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mise en Place for Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Mise en Place for Lemon Shortbread Cookies

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the 6 ounces of granulated sugar and 12 ounces of soft butter at medium speed for about 5 minutes.  Scrape down when necessary.  The butter/sugar mixture should become light and fluffy.

While still mixing add the egg.  Then add the lemon zest from 3 lemons, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the flour, until just combined and a dough forms.

Roll the dough into about 1 inch balls and place them onto a baking sheet.  Flatten them into discs about ¼ inch or so.  Because it’s a shortbread cookie dough the cookies won’t spread or puff up.

Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 18-24 minutes.  The time will depend on how thick you make the cookies.

Serve with a cup of Earl Grey Tea or Milk.  This cookie is also great spread with jam!

More Lemon Shortbread Cookies

More Lemon Shortbread Cookies


Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “Lemon Shortbread Cookies”

  1. roasted potatoes…

    […]Lemon Shortbread Cookies « The Daily Morsel[…]…

Leave a Reply