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Nutty Lemon Peel Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread brings back memories of holidays of old, but the nutty lemon flavour of these will bring something new. For everyone on your list and in your family who loves shortbread, these will be a winner that they’ll beg for year after year.

Nutty Lemon Peel Shortbread Cookies

Course Snack
Cuisine American


  • 140 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped pecan nuts
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
  • 115 g butter

Lemon sugar

  • 450 g granulated sugar
  • 1-2 fresh lemons


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Chop the pecans and shred the lemon peel. Place in a medium mixing bowl. To this bowl, add the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the lemon peel. Add the butter, cutting it in until the fine crumbs begin to cling together.
  • Knead the crumbly dough until it is smooth. Form into a ball.
  • Lightly flour the surface where you plan to work. Roll out the dough into a single layer that is about 1.5cm thick.
  • Using cookie cutters that are about 3cm but no larger than 10cm wide, cut out your desired shapes.
  • On an ungreased cookie sheet, place your cookies 25.5mm apart.
  • Sprinkle lemon sugar on cookie tops to decorate and to add an extra lemony flavor (optional).
  • Bake for about 18 minutes for small cookies or about 22 minutes for large cookies. Watch the cookies closely. When the edges of the cookies start to brown and the centres are set, the cookies should be ready.
  • Once out of the oven, transfer the hot cookies from the cookie sheet to a wire cooling rack.

For the Lemon Sugar

  • In a medium mixing bowl, add 450g of sugar. Set aside.
  • Using a fine grater or zester, grate the yellow peel from the lemon into the mixing bowl with the sugar. Make sure that you only grate the yellow peel, not the white part or pith. For a stronger lemon flavour, add the zest of an additional lemon to the sugar and mix well.
  • Place the lemon sugar mixture in an airtight container. Allow the sugar to sit for several days, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps. As a rule of thumb, the longer you allow the mixture to sit before using it, the more lemony it tastes.
  • After using the lemon sugar for the first time, make any adjustments needed just by adding more sugar or more lemon zest according to your taste.

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