Lemon Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Lemon Shortbread Cookies Recipe
Staff Writer
Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Frankie Frankeny

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

On a recent trip to Scotland, I ate my body weight in shortbread. The Scots are known as the originators of shortbread and I was seeking out any new bits of knowledge that could perfect the Miette version. The perfection of this cookie lies not in a secret ingredient, but in quality ingredients.

This lemon shortbread recipe takes the tart, fresh flavor of lemons and contrasts it beautifully with the richness of butter. In the walnut variation, the nuts add a wonderful earthy taste that we accentuate with sea salt.

It is important to stop mixing just at the point when the dough clumps together. This prevents the cookies from becoming tough. Freezing the dough makes the cookies more crumbly and helps them maintain their shape while baking. Don’t under bake these cookies. They should be golden brown.


Using a mortar and pestle or clean spice grinder, grind together the sugar and zest.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, butter, salt, and baking soda and beat on low speed until it resembles cornmeal. Add the lemon sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until just clumped together.

If the dough is soft, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Otherwise, roll out the dough ½-inch thick on a lightly floured surface into a 6-by-4-inch rectangle. Using a ruler, square the edges as much as possible. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1-inch squares. Place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies straight from the freezer until they are golden brown, about 10–12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.


Calories per serving:

141 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Sodium Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly, Vegetarian, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 9g 14%
  • Carbs 14g 5%
  • Saturated 6g 29%
  • Fiber 0g 1%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 6g
  • Monounsaturated 2g
  • Polyunsaturated 0g
  • Protein 1g 2%
  • Cholesterol 25mg 8%
  • Sodium 64mg 3%
  • Calcium 7mg 1%
  • Magnesium 3mg 1%
  • Potassium 17mg 0%
  • Iron 0mg 3%
  • Zinc 0mg 1%
  • Phosphorus 16mg 2%
  • Vitamin A 80µg 9%
  • Vitamin C 1mg 1%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 6%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 4%
  • Niacin (B3) 1mg 3%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 0%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 20µg 5%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 0mg 1%
  • Vitamin K 1µg 1%
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