Lemon Shortbread Biscuits

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I wanted to make some lemon biscuits, so that is what I did, and what a very nice biscuit they are too.

I started by searching around for a recipe.  The first I found was for something called Gooey Lemon Cookies.  But I was not convinced, by the listed ingredients, that they would effectively hold together.  So I abandoned that idea.  Instead I opted for a recipe for Lemon Cookies, on the Joyofbaking website.  That is a very nice website with some very good recipes.  I renamed the recipe, for my attempt, from cookies to shortbread biscuits, since shortbread is a biscuit, not a cookie.  The texture should be crisp and crunchy, with no soft centre.

Unlike most shortbreads this recipe includes egg yolks and it seems to have worked very well. The inclusion of lemon peel in the dough gives a nice, light lemon flavour.  Icing sugar mixed with a little lemon juice and drizzled over the top adds just a little extra sweetness and more lemon flavour.  That makes these a lovely accompaniment to a nice cup of tea.

Lemon Shortbread Biscuits


  • 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) freshly grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon) (about 1-2 large lemons)
  • 14 tablespoons (200 grams) unsaltedbutter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggyolks (35 grams), at room temperature
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing sugar), sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

  1. In a small bowl mix the sugar with the lemon zest.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy smooth (1 – 2 minutes). Beat in the egg yolks. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until the mixture starts to form large clumps. Divide the batter in half and shape each half into a log that is about 6 inches (15 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm (at least four hours or up to three days). (Can freeze the unbaked logs for up to two months.)
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  5. Once the logs have become firm, with a sharp knife, slice each log into 1/4 inch (.5 mm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on your baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about15 – 18 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  6. Lemon Glaze: Place the confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Add enough lemon juice to make a mixture that flows slowly from your spoon. Drizzle the tops of the cookies with the glaze. Let dry for about 1-2 hours before placing in an airtight container.

Note:  On the Joyofbaking website is says this will make about 45 cookies, but for me it only made 24, which is ample, and they are of a reasonable size.  Which means that starting off with 2 6 inch blocks of dough, I must’ve cut thicker than recommended but which is ideal for my purposes.

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