Citrus Shortbread

Citrus shortbread.

Although it’s one of the easiest cookies to make, shortbread has a flavor and texture that’s anything but simplistic. Sophisticated with a sandy yet buttery texture, the cookie can be adapted to suit any taste. Here, a trio of citrus flavors adds a bright finish to every bite.

Citrus Shortbread

Yields | 12 cookies |

Citrus Shortbread

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2½ Tbsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, divided
  • zest of 1 orange, finely grated, divided
  • zest of 1 lime, finely grated, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar, for coating

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

| Preparation – Citrus Shortbread | In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter with salt, sugar, vanilla, ½ of the lemon zest, ½ of the orange zest and ½ of the lime zest. Once combined, add flour; mix on low until just combined and no flour streaks remain. The final dough will look crumbly.

Transfer dough to a large sheet of parchment paper; lightly press it together with your hands. Set a second sheet of parchment paper on top and then roll out dough until ¼ inch thick. Place parchment-encased dough onto a baking sheet; transfer to freezer and let sit until dough is completely frozen, at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare lemon glaze.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from freezer and set on a clean work surface; discard parchment paper. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Combine scraps of dough and roll out again until ¼ inch thick; cut out remaining cookies. Brush the edges of each round with egg wash and roll in demerara sugar. Set coated cookies on prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart; bake, 11 minutes. Remove from oven; set on wire rack to cool, 1 minute, and then brush the center of each cookie with lemon glaze. Allow glaze to set, 1 minute, and then brush with a second layer of lemon glaze. Sprinkle cookies with remaining zests for a colorful citrus-confetti garnish.

| Preparation – Lemon Glaze | In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

Teresa Floyd is a Kansas City-based food writer, editor for the online food publication feedfeed and contributing monthly columnist for Feast Magazine’s Sugar Rush. Find her current creations on Now, Forager, a pastry blog featuring seasonal desserts.

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