Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lemon Shortbread Biscuits

I have been trying to make a good shortbread for god knows how long. I've tried a whole bunch of recipes and a whole bunch of different flours. I am still dissatisfied. Well not completely, these are pretty good, just a tad drier than I would like. Another simple recipe from the Golden Book of Patisserie, it conveniently uses corn flour, which I have in my larder. The best shortbread I've made were by accident, because I only had potato flour in the cupboard. It made the meltiest biscuits!

Hello Kitty Passionfruit Shortbread

I decided to make these lemon iced shortbread biscuits for xh's birthday, since he boldly professed these to be his favourite of my baking experiments. The original recipe in the book was for a plain shortbread covered in granulated sugar, but I think the lemon icing goes very well.

Lemon Shortbread Biscuits
Shortbread (from the Golden Book of Patisserie)
250g butter, softened
300g plain flour
150g corn flour (corn starch)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1/4 tsp of my vanilla bean paste, the little dots of vanilla are so pretty)

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on a medium-high speed until pale and creamy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour and cornflour and mix until well combined. Place mixture in a medium bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line three cookie trays with baking paper. Lightly cover a flat work surface with flour and roll out your shortbread dough to a thickness of 1cm. Cut out biscuits using whatever cutters you prefer. Being the ever-mature person, I like to use the dough scraps to make silly shapes like boob cookies :) Not this time though. Place cookies on trays 2.5 cm apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are a light golden colour. Allow them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Lemon Icing
1 cup pure icing sugar
1 tsp milk
30g butter softened
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
Boiling water

Mix icing sugar, milk, butter, lemon and zest together. Add boiling water 1 tablespoon at a time , mixing until the icing is smooth and runny. Dip one side of the biscuits into the icing mixture, then place on a rack with a tray underneath to catch the icing drips. I like to keep my bowl of icing sitting in a sink which is half filled with hot water, to keep the mixture runny while I am decorating the biscuits, it stops it from going all crusty.
These biscuits taste better the day after, they are a tad crumbly if you eat them fresh and warm. If you prefer something a bit richer on top, try using lemon buttercream instead of just icing. (I have used the same recipe to make melting moments) And passionfruit works just as well lemon!


  1. Great minds think alike! I have a shortbread scheduled to be made this coming week :) They look great and interesting about the potato flour. I have a recipe that uses rice flour. All of these different flours must really suit it as they're so soft :)

  2. Yeah I usually prefer rice flour but I only had corn flour in the house-I quite like how they turned out though! Ooh I'll be interested to see what your shortbread are like, I'm always up for trying different recipes!

  3. Hi! Just curious, what exactly is wheaten corn flour? Not sure if Ive seen it sold Melb but I really want to try this recipe for Christmas!

    1. Hi Michelle, it's just regular corn flour in Aus (corn starch in the US), I've updated the recipe to clarify that. Sorry about the confusion! xx


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