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Lemon Shortbread Cookies Easy Recipe

In this post: An easy recipe for Lemon Shortbread Cookies. A fresh lemon and sugar glaze tops off these lemon shortbread cookies. They melt in your mouth!

*UPDATE December 4, 2020: The original recipe for these lemon shortbread cookies was published in 2015. It was delicious, but the dough was very crumbly. To eliminate this issue, I adjusted the ingredients, and it works much better! Find the updated version in the recipe card below.

When it’s too cold to go out, I head to the kitchen. This week I made what I lovingly refer to as “comfort food.” A pot of soup, banana bread and these little lemon shortbread cookies. During these long, cold evenings, I have been pouring over old cookbooks trying to find easy recipes with basic ingredients. These lemon shortbread cookies are just that. You should have everything you need, except maybe the lemons, in your pantry. So add lemons to your grocery list, and you will be ready to whip up these amazingly good shortbread cookies! 

lemon shortbread cookies stack pin with text

Lemon Shortbread Cookes Easy Recipe. A fresh lemon and sugar glaze tops off these lemon shortbread cookies. They melt in your mouth!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookes Easy Recipe. A fresh lemon and sugar glaze tops off these lemon shortbread cookies. They melt in your mouth!
5 from 3 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 25 cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Refrigeration time 10 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup butter (softened) (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (about one large lemon)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest if desired

Instructions

  • Zest and juice the lemons. Set both zest and juice aside.
  • Beat butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest until smooth. About 2 minutes.
  • Add flour in two increments, and blend well, about 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and beat just a bit more.
  • Put the dough out on to a floured surface. Knead and turn until it comes together, adding more flour if necessary. Shape into a disc.
  • Divide in half. Wrap and refrigerate dough for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Remove one section of dough from refrigerator. Roll out to 1/4 in. thick.
  • Cut out with cookie cutter. I used a 2 1/2 in. circle.
  • Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes. Do not brown. Bottoms will be light golden.
  • After removing from oven, let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Place cookies on cooling rack.
  • Repeat process for second half of dough.
  • Combine powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice. Stir well. Add more lemon juice until the glaze is desired consistency.
  • Drizzle over cooled cookies.
  • (If second half of dough is too hard to roll out, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes.)

Notes

Using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter, I got about 30 cookies. How many cookies this recipe makes depends on how thick you roll them out and the size of your cookie cutter. 
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Lemon Shortbread Cookies: The Glaze

The glaze is the perfect way to top off these cookies. I placed the cooling rack with the cookies on a large cookie sheet. I started out by spooning on the glaze, but after about two cookies, I just picked up the bowl and drizzled it over the whole batch. I had them all glazed in less than a minute. 

bowl of glaze for lemon shortbread cookies

If you want just a basic shortbread cookie, it would work to leave out the lemon peel and lemon juice from the cookie dough. In place of the lemon juice, any kind of milk or cream could be substituted. 

lemon shortbread cookies star cutouts

Lemon Shortbread Cookies for the Holidays

This is the perfect recipe for making Christmas cut-out cookies. Simply follow the recipe, but when it’s time to cut out the dough, use festive Christmas cookie cutters. After drizzling on the glaze, it’s very fun to add sprinkles or sanding sugar.

best hot chocolate recipe in mugs with red striped straws

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies Sources:

Lemon Shortbread Cookes Easy Recipe. A fresh lemon and sugar glaze tops off these lemon shortbread cookies. They melt in your mouth!

If you are east of the Mississippi, stay warm. If you are where the sun is hot and shining, think of us in the deep freeze! See you soon…

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