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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

lemon shortbread cookies

So…I have this friend. Her name is Amy, and she’s incredibly funny and sweet and giving and totally awesome. She’s pretty much one of my most favorite people on the planet. She always makes me laugh and she’s someone whose opinion I truly value. The weird thing is that I’ve never met her.

She’s the blogger behind Very Culinary, one of my most favorite food blogs. Amy always “keeps it real” and she never pulls punches. She’s funny and honest and always sincere, and I love and admire her for that.

I mention her because she’s my inspiration for this post. Never one to turn down an opportunity to help someone, Amy has been involved with Cookies for Kids Cancer for the past couple of years. Every time I read her words and see the delicious cookies she bakes, I always think “I should do that, too”. But by the time the holidays roll around again, I’ve forgotten about my plans. Thankfully, GLAD reminded me this year! GLAD reached out to bloggers (through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program) asking us to participate. They covered the cost of all the cookie ingredients and sent bags, aprons, stickers and other things we needed to host our own bake sale. All we had to do was donate our time. Who could possibly say no to such a proposition? Especially when the beneficiaries are sweet children who are terribly ill?

shortbread cookies

We made about twenty dozen of these Lemon Shortbread Cookies as well as another 8 dozen of these Fresh Cranberry, Chocolate & Oatmeal cookies. We asked friends and family to buy some of our goodies and we were sold out in no time! One bachelor friend bought half of them himself to give to co-workers (isn’t that a great idea?!). But we’re not quite finished: we’ve gotten a few more orders as word spread so we’ll be fulfilling those in the next couple of weeks (and you can be sure that I’ll post the delicious results of our work ;)

You can help, too, and there’s no baking or buying required. All you have to do is exchange a virtual cookie with a friend and GLAD will donate up to $1.00 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each cookie sold, exchanged or given through the end of December – up to $100,000! C’mon – be a good cookie and help!

And if all you want to do is just make these yummy cookies, that’s fine, too. These lemony, buttery cookies are perfect for the holidays! They mix together in a snap, then all you have to do is form two cylinders from the dough and refrigerate. Once the dough is nice and firm, just slice them up and bake. Drizzle on a glaze made from lemon juice and powdered sugar and you’ll be in shortbread heaven!

lemon cookies


lemon shortbread

lemon shortbread

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Yield: about 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

A delightful cookie that's perfect for Christmas.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest from two lemons
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice


  1. Beat butter, sugar, zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and stir just until blended.
  2. Mix together flour and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix just until blended.
  3. Divide dough in half and roll into cylinders (about a foot long). Place in refrigerator for two hours or up to two days.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Remove dough from fridge and unwrap. Slice into circles about 1/4 inch thick and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove immediately to wire racks and let cool completely.
  6. Once cookies are completely cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle or spread over cookies.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)

Vi Tamargo

Sunday 17th of December 2017

Thanks for sharing! Teaspoon or tablespoon when you say "t" in the recipe?

Kristy Bernardo

Monday 18th of December 2017

Hi Vi! A small "t" is teaspoon and a large "T" is a tablespoon.

Diana Chinn

Monday 21st of November 2016

Would like your recipe for the lemon shortbread cookies

Thank yoi

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

Hi Diana, I'm not sure what you're asking for since the post you left this comment on has the recipe posted in full. Please let me know if I'm missing something! Thanks :)


Sunday 30th of October 2016

Soo, am I supposed to leave the oven to preheat for two hours while the dough rests?

Kristy Bernardo

Monday 31st of October 2016

Hi AMBer, thank you for pointing out that I made a mistake! I write so many recipes and preheating the oven is almost always the first step. I really apologize for any inconvenience. Have a great day :)


Wednesday 16th of December 2015

I love shortbread so much. So easy but so decadent. And lemon! Yes, yes, yes. Can't wait to give these a try!

Kristy Bernardo

Tuesday 29th of December 2015

Thanks, Michelle!

Conveniently Natural

Tuesday 19th of February 2013

Yum! I love anything with fresh lemon in it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

the wicked noodle

Tuesday 19th of February 2013

Anytime! :)

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