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Lemon Shortbread Cookies (+ VIDEO!)

Lemon Shortbread Cookies | Carrie Brown

I am pretty sure you know I love lemon.  Anything lemon.  The more lemony the better, really.  Lemon has the ability to transform something quite ordinary with just the swift swipe of a microplane.  Like these Lemon Shortbread Cookies.  One minute they’re regular little shortbread cookies, and the next they’re alive and zesty – bits of yellow peel baked right in – giving miniature bursts of luscious lemon to every crumbly bite.  Like mini fireworks in your mouth, except they won’t set it on fire.

You can make these cookies any size you like, but because they are so much more filling than regular  cookies, I made them small.  You can always snaffle down two if one isn’t enough.  Better to choose two small ones than feel you have to devour one huge one, right?  I also used this same basic shortbread recipe as a tart crust for Lemon Mascarpone Tarts. Even though the base recipe I stole from the Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread that I gave you for Valentine’s Day, these taste like completely different cookies.  They are very simple to make and you can throw them together in a New York minute.  For our non-American friends, that’s very fast.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies | Carrie Brown

The baking is the longest bit.  Oh, no, hang on.  The waiting bit is – by far – the longest bit.  Yes, there’s waiting involved.  Best idea is to make these right before you to go bed, then you can just sleep through the waiting part and they’ll be there in the morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, begging to be devoured. Add a little zest to your cookie dough today, to get a little zest in your mouth tomorrow.  Because life is short, so we may as well make it as zesty as we can while we’re here!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  15 mins  |  Cook time:  20 mins   |  Total time:  35 mins  |  Serves: 20 – 24

What You Need

What You Do

  1. Put the almond flour, ground chia seeds, xylitol, xanthan gum, and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix well.
  2. Cut the butter into small squares and add to the dry ingredients in the processor.
  3. Pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Pulse a couple more times and it will start to ball together.
  5. Turn out onto a work surface and lightly knead to form a soft dough.
  6. Roll into a sausage shape about 1.5″ in diameter.
  7. Use a serrated edge knife to slice the dough sausage into slices.
  8. Place the slices on a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil, and bake in the center of the oven at 300F, for 20 – 23 minutes until they are golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet. Step away from the cookies!
  10. Once cool, move the cookies to a cooking rack and leave until completely cold.
  11. Pack in an airtight container and leave overnight if you can possibly manage it, before you eat them. I know, I know. Trust me, they are better if left.

Top Recipe Tips

  • Buy chia seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder or high-speed blender.
  • Use either white or black chia seeds – there is no difference nutritionally. White looks prettier but black works just the same.

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  • SylviaYuummmmm!!! Carrie, you are a genius! Can’t wait to try these and share them with my daughter. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • MintaYummmm – can’t wait to try these!ReplyCancel

  • TamiThis is probably a silly question but I don’t have kitchen scales. Is there some place to get the equivalents of the ounces in measuring cup? Can’t wait to make these!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Tami – there is no place to get accurate equivalents because different ingredients have different mass, so 1 cup of xylitol, for example, does not weigh the same as 1 cup of almond flour. And this is exactly why I weigh when baking, because it is the only way to be accurate and consistent. I know that doesn’t give you the answer you were looking for, but I hope it helps you understand why there are no cups given. I highly recommend that you get a kitchen scale. Then you will have beautiful, successful, consistent results every time. PS. It was totally NOT a silly question!ReplyCancel

  • Katy AlexanderThanks Carrie, this recipe has just become a family favourite and so nice to have a guilt- free treat that taste so good. I’m going to try double the lemon this weekend for some extra tang. Thanks so much for everything you and JB do. xKaty from OzReplyCancel

    • carrieThanks, Katy! Lovely to have you here. I am thrilled that you love the cookies :-)ReplyCancel

  • KatieVery good! We tried them warm, and they are definitely better when they are cold!! Better yet, try them frozen!! Very good!! :) Satisfies the need for a little sweet!ReplyCancel

    • carrieKatie – it’s true! Cold is best when it comes to SANE Shortbread!ReplyCancel

  • BonnieCan you use clarified butter for this recipie?ReplyCancel

  • BlessyWhat would you recommend as a substitute for almond flour? My son is allergic to nuts. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Blessy – that is not a simple answer I am afraid. I will be making some nut-free recipes as time goes on, but my list is very very long. I am so sorry I cannot help you immediately.ReplyCancel

  • JoieHi Carrie, is it possible to replace Stevia for the xylitol?ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Joie, I have not tried this, but because Stevia does not have the bulk that xylitol has, in addition to the sweetness, I don’t think this would work.ReplyCancel

  • JamieThese were amazing! I’ve shared the recipe with everyone I know. Unbelievable that these have no sugar or flour.ReplyCancel

  • AlvinLove these. Even my wife who doesn’t like lemon or chia seed was gobbling them up. She liked them warm and I like them frozen. Honestly, I may just eat the batter next time.ReplyCancel

    • carrieHa, Alvin! Love that you loved them so much!! GO, Lemon Shortbread!ReplyCancel

  • SharmaneYummy! My little variation was to replace lemon with ginger spice mix – just like Xmas :-) Nice crumbled over greek yoghurt and berries for breakfast (did I just admit that I am eating cookies for breakfast?):-)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah (a pom in NZ!)These are just yum Carrie. I found the mixture a little dry so added the juice of one of the lemons as well until it formed a dough. It’s a real struggle not to eat them hot out of the oven though!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHa Sarah – I prefer them the next day, but glad you love them hot!ReplyCancel

  • JeanneCan these be frozen? If so, just the dough before baking or as the finished product? I live alone and don’t want a ton of these baked up at once. Also want to use them as tart crusts for various things, then pull out when I want to use a couple. What do you think?ReplyCancel

  • MollyCan you substitute coconut oil for butter?ReplyCancel

    • carrieMolly – yes, but it has to be cold and hard when you use it. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • OliviaOne of the hardest things about going sane for me is giving up sweet treats. I love seeing your recipes for them, and all I have
    looked at and wanted to make use xylitol, which, even in small amounts, gives me diarrhea. Are there any substitutes for it (aside from other sugar alcohols) in your recipes? Thanks for your help with this.ReplyCancel

    • carrieOlivia – I would try switching the xylitol our for Erythritol, which has *much* less effect on the gut. Try that and let me know how you get on. If that doesn’t work come back to me. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Lemon Mascarpone Tarts » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE Lane[…] decided, the morning after I made these Lemon Shortbread Cookies, that they would make a perfectly fine substitute for a tart case.  Then, since my tartlet already […]ReplyCancel