Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

On a gorgeous spring day, when the hummingbirds are buzzing at the feeder, the swallows are nesting, flowers are opening and dappled sunshine is lighting your kitchen, what sounds more refreshing than a delicate shortbread cookie infused with the sparkling brightness of lemon?

These buttery rounds lightly straddle the fence between crisp and soft and with the zing of lemon zest, they would perfectly compliment a nice tall glass of iced tea.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
adapted from The Daily Meal
makes 4 dozen

2/3 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 TB grated lemon zest
2 cups flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 TB heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

Using a mortar and pestle or a clean spice grinder (or, like me, the thick handle end of the pizza wheel!), grind together the sugar and zest.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, combine 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 (do not overmix!).
Divide dough in half and roll each half into a log about 8 in. long. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 min. or several hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Unwrap log and slice into 1/4 in. thick rounds. Place on cookie sheet about 2 in. apart. Sprinkle with sugar. In between batches, keep remaining dough refrigerated.
Bake 10 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool several minutes on sheet, then cool completely on wire rack.

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