Lemon--Cranberry Shortbread

"I discovered this recipe while searching for a clone of the cranberry bars from a famous coffee house. These are nothing like those - they're better! I found this recipe in the December 2003 issue of Good Housekeeping."
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
photo by Boomette
photo by Lori Mama photo by Lori Mama
photo by 2Bleu photo by 2Bleu
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • Preheat oven to 300°F Line a 13x9 metal pan with foil, letting foil extend past edges (for ease of removal later).
  • Grate 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon peel from lemons. Then squeeze 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juice. NOTE: Both the peel and juice will be divided between the shortbread and the glaze.
  • In food processor with knife blade attached, blend butter, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon peel, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until creamy. (Reserve remaining lemon peel and juice for glaze). Add flour and pulse until dough begins to come together. Add cranberries and pulse until evenly mixed into dough (it's OK if all the cranberries aren't chopped). Press dough evenly into prepared pan with fingertips.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is pale golden and edges are very slightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  • When shortbread is cool, in small bowl, stir remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel until smooth, adding a little remaining juice if necessary to make a good spreading consistency. Spread glaze over shortbread. Let stand until it sets, about 30 minutes.
  • Using foil, transfer shortbread to cutting board. Cut lengthwise into 3 strips, then make diagonal cuts to cut each strip into 12 triangles.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with lemon-peel curls if desired.
  • Store shortbread in tightly covered container, with waxed paper between layers, at room temperature up to 4 days, or in freezer up to 3 months.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Lynnies Kitchen
    Made these last year and LOVED them! I had to really search for the recipe again this year, and am soooo happy I found it! Great for lemon lovers!
  2. HokiesMom
    These are wonderful gems of a shortbread treat! I've never made shortbread that came out so perfectly and not overly dry. I absolutely love the flavor of the dried cranberries in this shortbread. It looks so pretty on the tray too which is an added bonus. I did use the glaze and it made for a really nice flavor with the cranberries for my guests. Made during Sweet Traditions tag event in the Cooking Games with Friends forum.
  3. waynejohn1234
    Love this interesting shortbread combination. As one rater said they really stand on their own without the glaze. Also, they keep several weeks and even improve with age. Thanks for submitting.
  4. LilPinkieJ
    I have been waiting to tag these for awhile and I'm so glad that I finally nabbed them! These are just excellent. I really enjoyed them. I am glad that I read the instructions through before starting, else I would have missed the divided items for the glaze. I liked the glaze, but I think the shortbread can really stand on it's own. This would work well for dried blueberries with the lemon as well, but I really like cranberries. You have a real Star Recipe here! Made and Reviewed for Please Review My Recipe Tag - Thanks! :)
  5. Boomette
    These cookies are great. I think it was my first time doing shortbread. It was very easy. DS of 3 years old help me to press the dough in the pan. He was so happy to help me. I used all the lemon zest and lemon juice to do the shortbread, cause I made the mistake to put both of them in the same bowl. Then I saw I had to set aside for the glaze (which I didn't do). The shortbreads are delicious as is. We didn't need the glaze. Thanks Appleydapply. Made for Holiday tag



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