Lemon Zest Shortbread

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Buttery shortbread is one of my favorite cookies.  A good shortbread isn’t sweet; rather it is crisp and buttery with a just a hint of sweetness.  Plain shortbread is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea but adding flavors into the dough takes these cookies to a whole new level.  I love the addition of lemon zest to these cookies.  This recipe is courtesy of Williams-Sonoma and is surprisingly easy.  Once the butter is at room temperature the cookies can go from individual ingredients to baking in the oven in a matter of minutes.

LEMON ZEST SHORTBREAD

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a food processor, combine the flour, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and salt and process to blend.
  • Add the butter and process just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gather into a rough ball.
  • Pat the dough evenly into the bottom of a shortbread pan or an un-greased tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • Pierce the surface every two inches with a fork and sprinkle the surface with the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  • Bake the shortbread until lightly golden at the edges and the center is firm to the touch, 45-50 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cook in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully removed the shortbread from the pan. Using a sharp knife, score the shortbread into wedges.
  • Let cool completely before and cutting and serving.
  • The cookies may be stored in layers separated by waxed paper in an air-tight container at room temperature for up  to 5 days.

Yields 12-16 cookies

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