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Lemon Zest Shortbread

Lemon Zest Shortbread
Crumbly, rich and buttery shortbread is a classic treat with coffee or tea after a meal, and is also excellent with compotes, ice creams or granita. Pack these cookies in pretty tins for an always-welcome gift. This cookie dough can also be rolled into a log, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and placed 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into
      pieces, at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 325°F.

In a food processor, combine the flour, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, the confectioner's sugar, lemon zest and salt and process briefly to blend. Add the butter and process just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gather it into a rough ball.

Pat the dough evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 10-inch springform pan or tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the tines of a fork around the edge to form a decorative border, and then pierce the surface every 2 inches with the fork. Sprinkle the surface with the 1 Tbs. granulated sugar.

Bake the shortbread until lightly golden at the edges and the center is firm to the touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the sides of the pan. Using a long, sharp knife, score the shortbread into thin wedges. Let cool completely before cutting and serving. Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes 12 to 16 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).