Ah, shortbread cookies. A timeless treat that no one can resist.
If you’ve been looking for something simple, creative, and delicious to bake this season, we’ve got just the recipe for you. In this post, we’ll be getting in the kitchen to teach you how to bake some absolutely heavenly lemon shortbread cookies. Get ready to get your apron on, preheat the oven, and get to it!
What makes lemon shortbread cookies so divine, you ask? It’s simple — the citrusy zest of lemon flavoring puts a unique twist on the classic shortbread cookie format. Shortbread is delicious in all flavors and forms, but we have a special place in our hearts for lemon shortbread cookies. If you’re not a fan of lemon, though, we have a chocolate shortbread cookie recipe that we guarantee will knock your socks off!
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Step One: Gather Your Ingredients
Our recipe will yield nine cookies, but you can double the ingredient measurements to get double the cookies. To keep things nice and simple, we decided a smaller batch would be a good start — all you beginner bakers out there, we had you on our minds when we came up with this recipe!
While many lemon shortbread cookies feature a sugary, citrusy glaze spread atop the dough, we decided to stick with something a bit more traditional for this recipe. Like our signature shortbread cookies for sale in our shop, these cookies are unglazed with all the lemony sweetness coming from the dough rather than a glaze. Glazed cookies can be mighty tasty, but they can also be messy to make and can take extra time and expertise.
Here are the only ingredients you’ll need to make a yummy batch of Nunbelievable lemon shortbread cookies:
- ½ Cup butter (unsalted)
- 2 Tbsps meyer lemon juice (Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter, making them perfect for baking.)
- ½ Cup powdered sugar
- 1¼ Cups all-purpose flour
That’s it! You can also add a pinch of salt to taste, but it’s entirely up to you.
Step Two: Gather Your Equipment
Every good baker is familiar with the tools of the trade and always has them ready to go whenever they’re needed. For this recipe, you’ll need a few basic baking tools — nothing fancy, just a few of the essentials — to prep, cut, and bake your cookies.
- One cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- One large mixing bowl
- Cookie cutters
Those are all the tools you will need to complete this recipe! If you want, you can use a juicer to extract the liquid from lemons. However, you can also save yourself using one tool and simply squeeze lemons with your hands instead. It’s up to you!
Step Three: Forming, Kneading, And Chilling
With just a few simple ingredients, the dough for this recipe is quick and easy to make. To get started, get out your mixing bowl and your whisk. These will be the first tools you’ll be using for this recipe. Set your mixing bowl on a clean, flat surface in your kitchen where there is plenty of room to work. Then, add a half cup of butter and a half cup of powdered sugar into the bowl.
Using your whisk, combine the butter and powdered sugar until you have a creamy mixture. This mixture will serve as the base for your dough, and you’ll add your other ingredients to it to create the final combination that will lay the foundation for your delicious batch of cookies!
Once the “wet” ingredients — butter and powdered sugar — have been mixed in the bowl, add two tablespoons of Meyer lemon juice and 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour into the mixing bowl. These last two ingredients will complete your dough. Use your whisk to combine the wet and dry ingredients gently.
With your combined mixture of ingredients, take your mixing bowl and empty its contents onto a clean, flat surface. Then, use your hands to gently knead the mixture into a ball of dough. The ingredients should stick together easily, but you may want to lightlysprinkle your countertop with flour to make the dough easier to work with.
Once the dough is mixed, wrap it in a thin layer of plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for an hour. As your dough chills, it will solidify and become more resistant to cracking and crumbling.
With an hour of free time waiting for the dough to chill, you can clean up the kitchen and get ready for the next steps in the baking process!
Step Four: Portioning Out Your Cookies
Once your dough has finished chilling, it’s time to pull it out of the fridge and roll it flat with your rolling pin. Set the ball of dough on a lightly floured countertop, then use the rolling pin to spread it and flatten it until it is about a half inch thick. This level of thickness is perfect for shortbread cookies — it lets them retain their light, crispy texture without making them paper-thin.
Once your dough is flattened, pause to preheat the oven. Ideally, 320 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for this recipe. At 320 degrees Fahrenheit, your cookies will get the perfect texture in just a few minutes, but the temperature won’t be so high that you’ll risk over-baking.
After you’ve flattened the dough and the oven is heating up, use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your cookies. From the amount of dough that you’ve created, you should be able to cut out nine to 10 small, evenly-sized cookies. You can experiment with different shapes and sizes to make fewer large cookies or more smaller cookies — it’s up to you!
Once you’ve cut out all the cookies, lay them flat on a baking sheet and cover them in parchment paper. Your cookies should easily fit on one baking sheet. Once the cookies are cut and assembled on the baking sheet, the oven should be ready to go.
Step Five: Bake, Cool, And Enjoy!
Slide your baking sheet into the heated oven and let the cookies bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take a look inside the oven to see how your cookies are doing. You can perform a texture test to determine whether the cookies are done baking — if they’re fully baked, they should be soft but not sticky. If your cookies still need some time to finish baking, let them sit in the oven for another 2–5 minutes after the 10-minute mark.
Your shortbread cookies will continue baking after you pull them out of the oven to cool, so don’t worry about them being undercooked! It’s best to pull the batch out before the 15-minute mark — any additional bake time will happen as the cookies cool.
Once your cookies have cooled down, they’re ready to eat! Share your batch with friends and family to spread some sweet, tasty joy with the people you love! These lemon shortbread cookies are sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them.
Nunbelievable Shortbread Cookies: Heavenly Taste, Saintly Mission
If you’re not a baker at heart, the idea of getting in the kitchen and making your own shortbread cookies might not be the most appealing thought to you. We get where you’re coming from, and we have a sweet, simple solution for you — try Nunbelievable’s shortbread cookies instead!
Our delicious shortbread cookies come in four flavors — original, baobab, lemon poppy seed, and chocolate. Wehighlyrecommend trying all of them — these cookies are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, but you might find one that you prefer over the rest!
Our chocolate shortbread cookies have the perfect balance of powdered sugar sweetness and soft, cocoa-tinged texture. You’ll feel like you died and went to heaven when you take the first bite!
Our baobab shortbread cookies contain a truly special ingredient — the African superfruit baobab! These cookies are 100 calories apiece, contain just four grams of sugar each, and are packed with highly beneficial vitamins and minerals. What more could you ask from a cookie that is the perfect companion for a cup of coffee of tea?
- Each shortbread cookie you buy from Nunbelievable equals one meal donated to feed the hungry!
Nunbelievable isn’t just on a mission to bake the best cookies we possibly can — we’re also fighting to end hunger. For the 40 million men, women, and children who go hungry in the United States each day, hunger is a painful and constant struggle. We want to use our cookies to share love and kindness with those who need it most, and we want to invite you to join us on our mission! You can partner with us in our fight to end hunger by enjoyingNunbelievable cookies as your go-to dessert!
You can find Nunbelievable’s cookies, including our two delicious shortbread flavors, by clicking righthere.