Shortbread has always struck me as having somewhat of an air of refinement. With its buttery and delicate sandy crumb, it makes me think “afternoon tea”, even though I might just be standing in the kitchen having a nibble. There are plenty of variations on the traditional shortbread, here I used cardamom and meyer lemon. I like how the spicy scent of cardamom plays with of the floral essence of the meyer lemon. I used my insta-read thermometer instead of a fork to prick the bite-sized discs into ‘buttons’ for a little twist. I chilled the dough between rolling, cutting out and putting in the oven (it was a warm day) to ensure that they did not spread during baking. It is best to use freshly ground cardamom, as a ground spice it loses its flavor quickly.
Adapted from the recipe ‘Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread’ from The Last Course by Claudia Flemming.
Meyer Lemon Cardamom Shortbread
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups AP flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp fresh meyer lemon juice
1 and 1/2 TBS zest of meyer lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and beat well.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, ground cardamom and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Form the dough into an approximately 1-inch thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper or parchment to a 1/4 inch-thick rectangle (about 10-x 12 inches). If the dough seems soft, return it to the refrigerator to chill for an additional 30 minutes. Cut out buttons with a 1 1/4 inch cutter (larger is fine too). Place 1 inch apart on the an ungreased baking sheet or parchment paper. Prick the shortbread with a wooden skewer (or food thermometer) and chill for another 5-10 minutes. Bake until pale golden on bottom, 20-25 minutes. Let sit for five minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 48 small buttons.