Sunday, December 19, 2010
Salted Lemon Shortbread Cookies for Non-Bakers (Like Me)
We have seven - seven - mature lemon trees between our front and back yards. Which means that, this time of year, we have a metric ass-ton of lemons on our hands. We literally can't give all of them away fast enough. We put them in boxes marked "FREE! ORGANIC! PLEASE TAKE!!" on our front lawn, and though we live on a very busy corner, they still go bad. Needless to say, I make a lot of lemon vinaigrettes, pastas, sauces, etc.
Although I'm not a baker by nature - no one could ever accuse me of being precise or deliberate - I decided to make lemon shortbread cookies to give away this holiday season. To my immense relief, these cookies were exceedingly simple to put together and extremely delicious - holla! The rich, buttery texture and tangy lemon flavor are a perfect match. The recipe didn't use up many actual lemons, unfortunately; I tried making them with fresh lemon juice as opposed to extract, but that just didn't work. Maybe I'll get my shit together in time to do limoncello or Moroccan-style preserved lemons next year. In the mean time, I'll be giving whole lemons away with this year's shortbread cookies. Want some? Come on over!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Bake Time: 25 mins
1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
*Optional - Sprinkling a pinch of fresh lemon zest on the tops of the unbaked cookies gives them extra zing! Sprinkling a pinch of kosher sea salt on top of the zest really brings out the lemon flavor.
Preheat oven to 350. Cream sugar and butter together on medium til light, about 2 minutes. Sift in flour, mixing on low or by hand. The dough will be crumbly. Add extract. Add zest. On an un-greased surface using your hands, press dough into a 10 or 12-inch square. Score large square into smaller, 1 or 2-inch squares with the back of a knife. Transfer little squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.