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