Shortbread is one of my favorite cookies. I had lemons and coconut on hand so I wanted to see how well they would blend in a shortbread. I’m so glad I did, because these babies are keepers.
I cook mine at 300 degrees because
I’m a rebel I really don’t want them over baked. These have a lot of butter in them so they will brown quickly. The perfect shortbread is not going to be a golden brown. They are done right before they start to brown. Err on the side of under done because they will continue to cook while they sit on the baking sheet.
They have a slight lemon taste that isn’t overwhelming, which is fine with me because it’s really all about the butter! Am I right?
Most shortbread recipes call for 1/2 cup of sugar, but I only used 1/3 of a cup so these aren’t overly sweet. I didn’t want them to be overly sweet because, as previously stated, it’s all about the buttah. That being said, if you’d like a sweeter cookie, go for 1/2 cup of sugar.
While I’m on the subject of sugar, there are some recipes out there that call for powdered sugar instead of granulated. I used granulated because that’s what I have on hand. Feel free to experiment on this one.
Many shortbread recipes call for using parchment paper, but I’m
cheap frugal so I don’t bother with it for this recipe. There is enough butter in these cookies that I have no issue with them sticking on my steel cookie sheets.
Also, keep in mind that these babies have no leavening agent so they will puff up, but not spread out like a traditional cookie. That means you can crowd them a bit on the cookie sheet, unlike other cookie recipes.
A lot of shortbread recipes tell you to refrigerate the dough before shaping the cookies. This makes the dough easier to work with. I was, however,
lazy, hungry, impatient, brave so I baked mine right away. I didn’t have any problems. Just sayin’…
I think these are wonderful with morning coffee and evening coffee, hubby loves them with milk or tea, and the kids love them anytime with anything. But don’t take our word for it. Give ’em a try.
Note: You can make variations of this cookie. If you don’t like coconut, omit it. Don’t care for lemon? Leave the zest out. Not a fan of almond extract? Use lemon juice instead.
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1 cup (2 sticks) of salted butter, room temp. (unsalted is fine as you will see below)
Zest of 2 small lemons (for more lemon flavor, add more. For plain shortbread, omit)
1/4 t. almond extract (optional – you can omit, use vanilla, or lemon juice)
1/4 t. vanilla extract (optional – you can omit, use almond extract, or lemon juice)
1/4 t. salt (use 1/2 t. salt if using unsalted butter)
2 1/2 cups of flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour)
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Then mix in the lemon zest (using this handy tool), salt, almond, and vanilla extracts. Mix in the coconut flakes and the flour, about 1/2 c. at a time until combined.
At this point, you can roll the dough out and cut into shapes using cookie cutters, a pizza cutter, or a knife. Transfer to a cookie sheet with a spatula and bake at 300 degrees for 5-7 minutes, depending on the size. Be sure to read the notes above! Remove them from the oven just before they have a chance to brown. Mine were small so I baked them for 5 minutes.
If you are more comfortable working with a chilled dough, you can place in the refrigerator for an hour or 2, or in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Be sure to cover the dough so that it does not dry out. Then roll out and bake as directed.
The dough may also be rolled into a log shape, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled. After chilling, you can cut slices for traditional round cookies.
Let cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring so they don’t fall apart. Then transfer to a cooling rack until cool
enough to eat.
I told you this recipe was adaptable! With 2 sticks of butter, I think you could add anything and they would still be incredible. Like I said, it is all about the buttah!
I just gave these to Teen 1 and Teen 2 for testing. Teen 2 said, “What is that? It IS going on the blog, right? Teen 1 asked, “Are you posting that tomorrow because it should have top priority” But don’t take their word for it. Head to your kitchen immediately and find out for yourself.
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What do you think? How do you prefer your shortbread cookies?