I don't know why shortbread jumped out at me all of a sudden, but when I saw a recipe for lemon shortbread on Pinch My Salt yesterday I had to try it (thanks for the inspiration, Nicole). I'm missing my mom, and her all-time favorite cookie is the Lorna Doone. So I thought I'd try to make something I knew she would like and, if I can stand the lines at the post office, send it off this afternoon.
My first attempt fell a little flat; this one is better. I've adjusted the original recipe a bit - more lemon zest, raw sugar sprinkled on top.
I Miss My Mom Lemon Shortbread
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup raw sugar (large crystals)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter with sugar and lemon zest in stand mixer for two minutes or until very creamy. By hand, add flour in three additions. The dough will be dry and crumbly; I found it easiest to work the flour in with my hands (not a spoon) until the dough held together when I squeezed it.
Turn the dough out on the counter or a board and flatten into a rectangle. Sprinkle with raw sugar and press the sugar into the top of the dough a bit. Cut the dough into little squares or diamonds, whatever shape you prefer. Scatter the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 325 about 25 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are just starting to brown. Cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then put the cookies on a cooling rack. Just try to resist until they cool down - I bet you won't be able to.
Makes about four dozen tiny little cookies.