It’s officially citrus season and the timing couldn’t be better. After months of pumpkin spice and warm & cozy comfort foods, I am ready for something bright & fresh. My tree is bursting with lemons calling my name to make wonderful things and I have plenty of ideas.
When I ask my daughter to pick a few lemons, she knows that yummy things are coming her way. We have a list of our favorite lemon treats to make, and these Meyer Lemon Drop Shortbread Cookies were a new recipe to us last year. She couldn’t wait to make them again this winter and I am glad that we finally have them back in the kitchen.
They are simple to make, but addicting with each bite. There is plenty of lemon zest in this egg-free cookie dough and a little extra in the icing. Don’t be fooled by these pretty little cookies, one is never enough. I can’t wait for you to give them a try. I’m sure you will add this recipe to your baking repertoire for years to come.
What are Meyer Lemons?
Meyer lemons are citrus hybrid. They are mix of citron and a mandarin which gives them a sweeter flavor, a less bitter rind, and a brighter orange-yellow color.
They are WONDERFUL and if you find Meyers in your grocery store, I highly encourage you to pick up a bag and start baking. I have so many delicious recipes using them that I can’t wait to share with you.
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Here’s What You’ll Need:
Lemons- I am making use of my Meyer Lemons, but you can use any variety of lemon that you have on hand. You will need the zest of 1-2 lemons and about 4 or so tablespoons of juice for the dough and the icing.
Butter- As always, I only bake with dairy butter and can’t vouch for how these would turn out with an alternative. Definitely use the real deal, these cookies are worth it! If you use salted butter, you can skip adding the extra salt.
Powdered Sugar- Using powdered sugar rather than granulated allows these cookies to hold their shape when baking. We also use it for the icing, so have plenty on hand. These cookies aren’t overly sweet on their own. It’s the icing that takes them to the next level.
All-Purpose Flour- These are not gluten-free, but I am curious about how these would turn out with one of my favorite gluten-free flours. More to come on that topic, but for now it has not been tested on my end.
Vanilla Extract, Flour, & Salt
Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer– These are easy to make, it will be a lot easier to get that butter nice and fluffy if you use a mixer.
Small or Medium Cookie Scoop- I love a tray of pretty cookies and always use my cookie scoop. If you don’t have one, it is just as easy to use two spoons and drop the dough onto the cookie sheet. I don’t recommending rolling them with your hands because chilling the dough keeps the cookies from spreading out as they bake.
Silicone Baking Mats- I prefer to save money over time and use my silicone baking mats when I can. If you don’t have them, you can use parchment paper, but I do recommend using one or the other over greased cookie sheets. Greased cookie sheets have a high probability of sticking.
Cooling Racks– You’ll need these for cooling the cookies and for icing them.
Meyer Lemon Drop Shortbread Cookies
- 1 Hand or Stand Mixer
- 1 Cookie Sheet
- 1 Zester
- 1 Small Cookie Scoop
- 1 Cooling Rack
- 1 cup butter, unsalted, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, (approximately 1 large lemon)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional (but VERY pretty)
- In a medium bowl, whip the butter with an electric hand mixer for about 1-2 minutes until it is light and fluffy. It will change color and become a little lighter.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, mix well with the hand blender. Scrape down the sides if needed.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and salt. Mix well until it combines into a dough and less crumbly.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While you are waiting, pre-heat your oven to 350 F and prep your cookie sheet with the silicone mat or parchment paper.
- When the dough is chilled, scoop the dough onto the sheet pan. They don't spread too much, but leave a little bit of room in between just incase.
- Bake on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes, check for browning at around 10 minutes. They should be very lightly browned around the edges.
- Cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to the cooling racks for another 30 minutes.
- While they are cooling mix together the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and juice. It should be pourable but not like water. Make adjustments as needed. Cover and set aside until needed.
- Dip the tops of the cookies in the icing an place on the cookie sheet until set. Transfer to a dish and store them covered at room temperature for 2 days or up to 5 days in the fridge.
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