Lemon Shortbread Cookies are iced with a delicious lemon icing and are buttery, soft, and delicious! These cookies are perfect for any time of year and the dough can be made ahead of time.
Who doesn’t love a delicious home baked cookie? I know my kids love when I make fresh-baked cookies for their snacks! Today, I wanted to share with you all a tasty shortbread cookie that features a hint of vibrant lemon.
If you love buttery, yummy shortbread cookies, then this recipe is for you! In honor of Christmas in July I decided to go with some star cookie cutters to bring you the best shortbread cookie recipe on the block.
We are teaming up with some fellow food bloggers to bring your Christmas Cookies in July! Be sure to check out all their tasty cookie recipes that are perfect for the holiday season.
Each cookie is carefully iced with a sweet lemon icing and has a pinch of fresh lemon zest.
These lemon shortbread cookies are so delicious with coffee or tea and are a perfect choice for a holiday cookie.
In order to make the best batch of homemade shortbread cookies, let’s explore some cookie baking tips to help you bake up the best batch of cookies for you or your family.
How to Make Lemon Shortbread Dough
Making lemon shortbread dough is quite easy actually. Since shortbread cookies really only use common pantry staples like sugar, flour, and butter the addition of lemon juice is the only difference. Check out what you need to purchase or have on-hand to make these cookies.
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of lemon extract
- pinch of table salt
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour. I prefer unbleached personally, but regular will do!
Can you refrigerate Shortbread Dough?
Yes, you can refrigerate shortbread dough. Baking with chilled dough is easier for cutting out shapes, and preventing cookies from spreading. However, shortbread cookies typically do not spread.
I like to place my dough on wax or parchment paper and form it into either a log for circle cookies, or disc for rolling. You can do either.
I wrap it carefully in the paper and then use plastic wrap to seal it and keep it fresh until use. I have only personally used dough for up to 24 hours so I cannot guarantee freshness after that.
Can you Freeze Shortbread Cookie Dough?
Yes, this dough can easily be frozen as well. I recommend shaping it into a log form. After that, wrap it in wax or parchment paper, seal with plastic wrap, and place it into a zippered freezer bag. You can freeze for up to 3 months.
To bake from frozen, allow the dough to thaw for 10 minutes before slicing into the log to bake. Baking times should be the same.
How to Thicken Cookie Icing
If your cookie icing using the recipe below is too watery, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to thicken. Continue to add more until it is the consistency of honey.
Additionally, the longer you allow the icing to sit from mixing, the thicker it will get so that you can either dip, or flood your cookies.
The BEST Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour white, unbleached
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon zest to sprinkle over cookies or mix in icing.
- Preheat oven to 375 if ready to bake cookies.
- In a stand mixer, add cookie sugar, butter, and lemon juice.
- Mix together until combined.
- Add in the salt, and then flour.
- For ease of working, set out a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Set out 1 tablespoon of flour to make molding the dough easier.
- Meanwhile, dough should be worked into a ball and pull towards the center of the mixer.
- Scrape any dough out and with flour hands, add it to the parchment paper workspace.
- This dough is best to work with chilled for 1 hour.
- Form a log and wrap the dough up and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You can make this up to 24 hours in advance.
- Once dough is chilled, flour a rolling pin and work dough until about 1/4" thick.
- Stamp cookie cutters and use a spatula to carefully place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- This cookies do not spread so you should be able to fit 12 on a standard size baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes.
- Once cookies are done, allow them to cool for 2 minutes before transferring them to a plate/cooling rack.
- Repeat the baking process for the next batch.
- Meanwhile, mix icing ingredients until it forms a thick consistency.
- Allow icing to thicken for about 15 mins.
- Using a teaspoon, carefully ice cookies.
- The icing should be thick and nicely coat each cookie.
- Sprinkle each with some lemon zest.
- Allow cookies to harden for at least 30 minutes. -Enjoy!
Christmas in July Cookie Celebration
Make sure you check out these other Christmas in July Cookie Recipes from a few of my talented foodie friends!
- Chocolate Marshmallow Peppermint Cookies – From Walking on Sunshine Recipes
- Elegant Christmas Tree Cookies from She Saved
- Avalanche Cookies from Cincy Shopper
- Snowball Cookies from Flour on My Face
- Reindeer Cookies from Mom Skoop
- Grinch Christmas Cookies from Aileen Cooks
- Mickey Mouse Christmas Cookies from Cutefetti
- Italian Ricotta Cookies from Ever After in the Woods
- Italian Anise Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes