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These are melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies topped with a light and refreshing frosting - so sweet and mild it imparts the perfect lemon flavor without the tartness. Note: Please read all the directions before beginning! The butter needs to reach room temperature BEFORE you begin making the dough; this may require two or three hours of passive work time.
- 2 lemons
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- extra lemon zest, to sprinkle on top of the frosting
- * Place the butter on the counter two or three hours before you plan to make the cookies to bring it to room temperature. DON'T LET THE BUTTER GET SOFT OR THE COOKIES WILL TURN OUT CRUMBLY.
- ** Zest the two lemons (only take the outer colored portion of the lemon, the white pith is bitter and will distort the flavor). Let the zest sit out to give it time to dry out.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
- Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the lemon zest (1 1/2 tsp.), vanilla extract, and salt.
- Add the flour and mix until well combined.
- Using your hands, roll the dough into 1" balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or just until the bottoms begin to turn light brown.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting.
- In a small bowl, beat the butter, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest (1 tsp.) together until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and continue beating until you reach the desired consistency (you may need to add a little more milk or a little more sugar); the frosting should be firm, but spreadable, and able to stay on the cookie without sliding off the sides.
- Frost the tops of each cookie and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.
These cookies are wonderful. Definately melt in your mouth. I just made my first batch and gave them to a group of people to taste test for me and everyone loved them. Light and flaky and nice and lemoney.
I did make one change - I added the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon to cookie and frosting recipies. I also made only 1/2 frosting recipe and it was plenty. My church is having a fundraiser in a couple of weeks and I'm in charge of a cookie and lemonade stand. These are definately going to be there.
Made these last night, and they just seem to melt away in your mouth, just making room for the next one. We only made half the amount of frosting and found that was enough, because they are great without it. We also dredged these in powdered sugar only, and they just made us get more butter out for another batch. Made for my Great Grandfather for Fathers Day, and he will sure enjoy staying home with a cup of tea.