Meyer Lemon Shortbread

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

It wouldn’t be a proper month of dessert recipes without something lemony, so today we’re happy to share these shortbread cookies from Samantha Seneviratne, the author of Love, Cake and The New Sugar & Spice cookbook. Here’s how to make them…

Meyer Lemon Shortbread
By Samantha Seneviratne of Love, Cake

This shortbread is exactly what you need in March. The weather is confusing. It’s hard. But a good cookie can cure all ills. Light therapy in dessert form. Meyer lemons are in season from November through March. Their bright, sweet, tart taste feels like summer when you’re in the throes of winter. They ease the pain.

The recipe is also a lazy baker’s dream. Make the dough. Pop it in a pan. Cut it up after it’s baked. No portioning, no batches. Just cookies. Simple. Don’t worry, The berries will be here soon enough. In the meantime, trust the Meyer lemon.

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup water
2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced and seeded
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
sanding sugar for sprinkling

In a large skillet, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Heat over medium, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Cook the slices, flipping them occasionally, until they are translucent, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Remove the slices from the syrup and chop them finely. You need 1/3 cup of chopped candied lemon for the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, all-purpose flour, rice flour, poppy seeds and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the candied lemon and pulse just until it is evenly distributed.

Tip the dough into the prepared pan and lightly press it into an even layer. Try not to compact the dough more than you have to. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the top of the dough with sanding sugar and bake on a rimmed baking sheet until the shortbread is golden brown and set, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for a few minutes. While the dough is still warm, remove the pan edges and cut the cookie into wedges. Let cool completely to serve.

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

Thank you so much, Sam! Your new cookbook is lovely.

P.S. More yummy recipes, including feta and lemon dip and Meyer lemon tart.

(Recipe and photos by Samantha Seneviratne. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)