Who doesn’t love a melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Drop Shortbread Cookie? Slightly different and simply wonderful! Tender, buttery shortbread with a sweet and tart lemon curd filling...drizzled with lemon glaze and a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest. Sweet and simple with a touch of almond and vanilla make these perfectly delightful, and perfect for garden teas or springtime cookie celebrations!
WHAT ARE THE SECRETS TO A GREAT SHORTBREAD COOKIE?
WHICH IS BETTER - HOMEMADE OR STORE BOUGHT LEMON CURD?
Homemade Fresh Lemon Curd is so simple and easy to make, and hands down is creamier, silkier and fresher tasting than lemon curd that you find in the jelly aisle at the grocery store.
If you're in a pinch, you can use the bottled version, but believe me, once you try my homemade Fresh Lemon Curd you'll never go back!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups + 2 Tbsp (264g) all-purpose flour (sifted & spooned – not scooped!)
1 cup Fresh Lemon Curd
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Fresh Lemon Zest (optional garnish)
HOW I MAKE THESE:
1. Beat the butter on high speed with a handheld or stand mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn the mixer off and add half of the flour; turn the mixer on low and slowly beat just until combined. Add remaining flour and again mix slowly just until a very soft dough is formed. Press the dough down into bowl, tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill overnight.
2. The next day, remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator an hour before you intend to start baking.
3. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (parchment paper seems to work better than silicone mats for these shortbread cookies).
4. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, making sure they're nice and smooth. Make an indentation with your thumb into each ball. The dough may crack slightly when you press your thumb into it, but you can pinch the dough back together gently. Fill each impression with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh Lemon Curd. Place prepared cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes – this step is MANDATORY!
5. Bake the shortbread thumbprint cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly. Do not overbake!
6. Remove from oven and immediately spoon an additional ½ teaspoon of Fresh Lemon Curd into each cookie, smoothing it around to fill the indentation evenly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. Cool to room temperature before glazing.
7. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, vanilla and corn syrup until smooth. Add more lemon juice to thin out or add more powdered sugar to thicken to your desired consistency. Carefully drizzle over cooled cookies and allow glaze to set (you can refrigerate to speed this process up). You can sprinkle drizzled glaze with fresh lemon zest for a pop of color and lemon flavor!
8. Store cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Baked cookies can be frozen up to 30 days – thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
YIELD: Makes 36 cookies
Originally posted May 2010, revised and reposted June 2019.
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