This morning my Aunt Kathy and I woke up early to make lemon shortbread. I’ve never made shortbread before, but it’s always been one of my favorite cookies. And I loved the idea of adding lemon zest to my aunt’s standard shortbread recipe.
When we dug out the recipe this morning, I saw that it’s made with brown sugar rather than white sugar. I wasn’t sure if I would like the combination of brown sugar and lemon in the shortbread, so we decided to do an experiment. We made two batches of shortbread, one with brown sugar and one with white sugar. We also used two different types of lemons to see which zest would impart the best flavor. To the brown sugar batch we added the zest of a meyer lemon and to the white sugar batch we added regular lemon zest.
The results of our experiment were this: we prefer regular lemon zest over meyer lemon zest in the cookies and we prefer lemon-flavored shortbread to be made with white sugar. However, I liked the flavor of the brown sugar shortbread so much that it will definitely become my standard non-lemon shortbread recipe.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon zest and blend well. By hand, stir in flour a little at a time. Dough will be crumbly, so dump it out onto a counter top or pastry board and work it together by hand until smooth. Pat or roll dough out into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into small squares, rectangles or diamonds (whichever you prefer). Arrange cookies on ungreased baking sheet (I use parchment paper for easy cleanup) and bake 20-25 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven until the bottom edges are just starting to brown.
Here is the recipe for the Brown Sugar Shortbread.
Here is the recipe for Brown Sugar Shortbread.
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