meyer lemon shortbread cookies

I subscribe to a lot of food magazines. My husband would agree, and he’d probably throw in that I subscribe to TOO MANY food magazines. The stacks of magazines scattered throughout my house – on the coffee table, the end tables, under the console table, on the breakfast nook table, and on the kitchen counters – would argue that my husband might very well be right.

I find inspiration between the glossy covers of Fine Cooking and Bon Appétit. When I read the articles and essays in Saveur, I can’t help but look for photographs taken by Penny De Los Santos, food and travel photographer extraordinaire. Reading articles and recipes in Food and Wine is an indulgence, best done while sitting in my front porch rocking chair with a glass of Riesling in hand.

January issues bug me.

I’m a believer in eating healthy year-round, not just in January, when the magazine editors feature the healthy recipes they’ve been stockpiling all year. I hate to say it, but I’m less inspired and intrigued by recipes featured in these magazines during January than I am the rest of the year. I get bored.

So let’s talk cookies. Not salads and whole grains and lean meats. Cookies.

We can still eat cookies, you know, even though it’s January. One or two won’t hurt. Everything in moderation.

This recipe is just slightly tweaked from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It’s a terribly easy recipe to prepare. The hardest part for me is trying to refrain from eating too much of the dough before the cookies are baked.

I glazed half the batch with Meyer lemon glaze and left the other half unadorned. The plain cookies, my son’s favorite, are slightly crumbly and subtly sweet with just a hint of Meyer lemon. The glazed version of the cookie was a hit with my husband and daughter. The lemon glaze transforms the shortbread into something entirely different. There was much more brightness and zing to the cookie.

So, if you need a cookie during this month of restraint, you can’t go wrong with one – or two – of these. Made with beautiful, fresh Meyer lemons, these cookies are sure to brighten up any cold January day.

(You may now resume your diet.)

Yield: approx 24 cookies

Meyer Lemon Shortbread Cookies

This is just a tweak of Ina Garten's recipe for shortbread, found here, and in her book, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I left half the batch unglazed (which made my 4-year old happy) and glazed the other half with the Meyer lemon glaze found here (which pleased my 7 year old and husband).


3/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest from 1 Meyer lemon
Meyer lemon glaze [optional]


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt then add them to the butter-sugar mixture. Add the Meyer lemon zest. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3-inch round cookie-cutter or biscuit-cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Optional: Glaze each cookie with Meyer lemon glaze, and allow cookies to chill in the refrigerator until glaze is set.

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24 Responses to “meyer lemon shortbread cookies”

  1. 1
    Maria — January 14, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    I love lemon cookies! I can’t wait to try these!

  2. 2
    Ines Anchondo — January 14, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

    These look delicious! Do you know of an online source of Meyer Lemons (I live in the dessert). Maybe I should get my own tree and try to grow indoors?

    • 2.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — January 14, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

      I don’t know of an online source. We grew our tree outside on our patio, in a pot. It was really easy to do.

  3. 3
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — January 14, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    This is some wonderful deliciousness here! You know how much I love shortbread… mix that with Meyer lemons and you have yourself a perfect treat!

  4. 4
    Kelsey — January 14, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    These looks amazing, I LOVE Meyer Lemons. Another great recipe is Meyer Lemon Sables by Amanda Hesser.

    • 4.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — January 14, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

      Great tip, Kelsey. Thanks!

  5. 5

    I subscribe to most of the food magazines too. I am sure our husbands could compare notes 🙂 These looks look wonderful. I have seen a lot of blogs lately with recipes including Myer lemons so I am determined to find them here.

  6. 6
    briarrose — January 14, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Mmmm…tasty lemon cookies.

  7. 7
    Chris — January 14, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    That’s a really good point…I understand now why cooking/baking waivers this month. C’mon Editors! 🙂

    These look delish. I would have liked these instead of the muffins I used my Meyers in. I see these in my future. 🙂

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  9. 8
    Macaroni Mama — January 14, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    Thank you, Merry Jennifer. Life does continue after December.

  10. 9

    Ina’s shortbread cookie recipe is my go-to recipe when I’m in the mood for shortbread cookies. I like to make them into sandwich cookies with some raspberry jam in the middle. I like your idea of adding some lemon zest and glazing the cookies.

  11. 10
    Cheryl Arkison — January 15, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    Here’s hoping I can find more Meyer Lemons at the market today. They will go quite well with some curd… Maybe as a sandwich?

    • 10.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — January 15, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      Oh, yes. A little sandwich with some lemon curd sounds divine.

  12. 11
    Helene — January 15, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    I am an avid cooking magazines collector. I even hide some under my bed. Don’t like the January issues either. Nice cookies.

  13. 12
    Aggie — January 17, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    I seriously love shortbread cookies…and lemon cookies….and magazines. 🙂

  14. 13
    Melanie Schoenhut — January 18, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    Lemon cookies are so simple and I love trying this one. This will be perfect for me while I am starting to learn how to bake. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 14
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 18, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    THANK YOU! I was just saying the other day how I hated January issues of food magazines… It’s when all of the food people get stupid and start trying to make lasagna with no fat ricotta and other “fake” food so they can claim that it’s less than 200 calories.

    Anyway, I’m so glad you made cookies… I love them, and love the lemon in them. I’m bookmarking this recipe!

  16. 15
    Jason Phelps — January 28, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    I haven’t decided what kind of cookies I am going to make for my second act with Meyer Lemons, but I do know I have lemon sugar to top them with. Thank you for some inspiration.


  17. 16
    Liz the Chef — January 29, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    They don’t call me “Meyer lemon Liz” for nothing 😉 These has instantly become a “must bake” on my list – I’ll be posting a ML cake later this week…

  18. 17

    My husband loves anything citrus & have a feeling he’d LOVE these cookies!

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