Monday, July 20, 2009

Lemon Shortbread

The other day I had a craving for dessert and, feeling too lazy to go to the store, I decided to make something that I actually had the ingredients for on hand (what a concept). As I looked around my cupboards, I promptly realized I had almost nothing with which to make a tasty treat: flour, butter, sugar, and salt. That was it! But then I remembered the lemons sitting on the counter and suddenly my dessert night didn't look so bleak. What could be tastier than a quick lemon shortbread?

Because of its crumbly texture, this shortbread is baked in a cake pan, or in absence of a cake pan, an 8 x 8 square pan. The recipe also suggests using a food processor to mix the butter and flour mixture to that perfect shortbread dough consistency. Alas, I've been temporarily living away from all of my kitchen accessories (I cannot express how much I miss my Bosch mixer that is sitting lazily in storage) and so had to blend the butter in with my fingers. And I was a little bit lazy about it--you'll notice that my dough more on the crumbly side and less on the "moist clump" side of things. Yours should also be crumbly, but perhaps not quite as much as mine. The final product will also be somewhat crumbly, but it won't matter because it will spend most of its time going from the pan to your mouth.

Lemon Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetite August 2001
Pictures by Kelly

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. Add butter; cut in using on/off turns until moist clumps form.
  2. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Press 1 dough half onto bottom of each of two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. Pierce dough all over with fork.
  3. Bake until cooked through and pale golden, about 40 minutes. Cool shortbread in pans on racks 5 minutes. Cut each warm shortbread in pan into 12 wedges. Cool completely.
*Two more days to enter our 100th birthday contest...

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