Luscious Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Icing are everything a shortbread cookie should be: buttery, melt-in-your-mouth tender with a nice, light crisp. Lemon adds an extra burst of citrus energy, making this recipe a fun twist on a classic flavor.
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment) mix together the butter and sugar on low speed, just until combined. Still on low, add lemon zest, vanilla, flour and salt. Mix only until the dough comes together. It will be very crumbly.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle or square. Using a cookie cutter lightly dipped in flour, cut out cookies, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat (if not using parchment paper or a silpat, simply leave the cookie sheet ungreased).
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare the Lemon Icing: Mix together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add milk one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistence is reached. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and serve.
The cooking time in the recipe below is based on 1/2-inch thick cookies. If your cookies are thinner, baking time should be reduced. (For 1/4-inch thick cookies, begin checking at 10-12 minutes).
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