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Easy Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

(1 review)
Easy Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies
  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 3 hr 0 min
  • Servings 32
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Easy Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

These flavorful, fragrant, lemon herb shortbread cookies welcome Spring beautifully.

Ingredients

2 1/2
cups all-purpose flour
1
teaspoon salt
2
sticks butter, softened
1
cup confectioner’s sugar
1
egg
1
teaspoon vanilla extract
2
teaspoons lemon zest
2
teaspoons lemon juice
6
to 9 sprigs assorted fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and sage
1
egg white
1/2
teaspoon water
1
tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

Directions

  • 1 In a medium-size bowl, briefly mix the flour and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a standing mixer, blend the butter and confectioner’s sugar well. Add the egg, vanilla extract and lemon zest and juice and mix well. Gradually blend in the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. Scoop the dough from the bowl and wrap in a zip-top bag or in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • 2 Preheat oven to 375º F. Prepare your herbs by either finely chopping the leaves or snipping more decorative, larger pieces. You can choose to keep the herbs separate and use only one kind of herb per cookie, or you can blend them into a mixture. Shown here, the herbs are kept separate. Set aside.
  • 3 On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the chilled cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a 2 1/2-inch circle, oval or square cookie cutter to cut out your cookies. Transfer cookies to a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Mix the egg white and water. Lightly brush the top surface of the cookies with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle or place the herbs on each cookie. Gently press the herbs to flatten against the cookies. If desired, sprinkle a pinch of sugar on each cookie.
  • 4 Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

As prepared by The Decorated Cookie,

Got coffee? Pour a cup to go with these buttery shortbread cookies.

If you’re putting fresh herbs on your cookies, I think it’s safe to say you’re a grown-up. And if this is what being a grown-up tastes like, I have no problem with adulthood.

I’m all about cookies (geez, look at the name of my blog). But sometimes I need a balance to all that sugar. These buttery cookies are not too sweet, so the hint of lemon and the delicate flavor of herbs shine just right.

Rather than blending the herbs into the dough, the cookies are decorated with snippets so you can use a variety of herbs with one batch. Then you get the bonus of cookies dressed for a garden party!

So next time you snip from your garden or stop by the farmer’s market, consider using fresh herbs for dessert. They're perfect for bridal or baby showers. Or backyard gatherings. Or any party. Or for your own indulgence.

The cookies are adapted from my Basic Sugar Cookie recipe and are quite simple to make.

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

First, mix together the flour and salt. This just needs a stir or two with a spoon.

Then, place the butter and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and blend, making sure to start on low speed so you don’t get a face full of sweet powder. Add the egg, vanilla and lemon, blend it well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, then gradually stir in the flour mixture.

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

Once you have your dough formed, scoop it all into a zip-top bag and chill in the refrigerator. Chilling the dough will make it much easier to roll out and help the cookies keep their shape in the oven, so don’t skip this step!

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

Meanwhile, you can prepare your herbs. Either snip a few whole pieces (the thyme looks especially pretty when left on the sprig) or finely chop the leaves.

Or choose a mixture. I chopped the sage finely, but the rosemary leaves I just used whole. To remove leaves from thyme, pinch a sprig and run your thumb and forefinger along the length of the sprig against the leaves’ growth. Easy peasy.

I kept my prepared herbs separate, and only put one kind of herb on each cookie, but you can also mix them all up if you prefer.

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

After your dough is chilled, it’s time to roll it out. Work with about half the dough at a time, briefly kneading it into a ball, pressing the ball flat and rolling with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out your circles, ovals or squares (or whatever shape you are using) and place on a baking tray or trays lined with parchment paper.

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

With a fork, mix an egg white and a bit of water. Then, lightly brush the egg-white mixture on the cookies. Sprinkle or place a few herbs on each cookie, pressing gently to flatten the herbs against the cookies.

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

If you want a sweeter taste, you can sprinkle a pinch of granulated sugar on each cookie. I sprinkled sugar on about a third of my cookies, but I personally preferred the less-sweet ones.

 

Lemon Herb Shortbread Cookies

Bake until the edges are gorgeously golden brown. Enjoy with a cold glass of iced tea. Or smooth, hot coffee. Or vodka. I won’t judge.

See Recipe
Tips  

To remove leaves from thyme, pinch a sprig and run your thumb and forefinger along the length of the sprig against the direction of the leaves’ growth.

Use any shape or size cookie cutter you like, but you may have to adjust the oven time for smaller or larger cutters.

Nutrition Information 
No nutrition information available for this recipe
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