A few years ago my friend and I went to Baking Arts in San Francisco to take a holiday cookie class. I have adapted their shortbread recipe for these lovely lemon cookies, a special treat any time of year. Their light lemon flavor, along with the rich buttery shortbread make these a winner with adults as well as children.
Be sure to follow the recipe closely, and be sure to use unsalted butter and a high quality vanilla and lemon extract. I have a particular fondness for Nielsen Massey vanilla, and have actually done taste comparisons with chocolate chip cookies to see if I could tell the difference between my longtime favorite and ordinary extract. I am sure you will not be surprised to hear the Nielsen Massey cookies were the winner, and in a cookie like these shortbread where there are so few ingredients, quality extracts are vital. Lucky for us, they make lemon extract as well 🙂
As I mention in the recipe, which you can find here, it is important to have your butter very soft in order to get the creamy texture you want with a low speed.
And be sure to bake the cookies long enough! If you don’t leave them in the oven until the edges (and bottoms, though that’s a lot harder to determine) are golden then they will not have the rich buttery flavor and crispness that make these cookies so delicious. As with most things in life, patience is the key.