Lemons have always been my favorite for as long as I can remember, plus add ginger and hazelnuts for added flavors. The zest and juice can brighten up almost any cookie I can think of, well, nearly any flavor cookie. The zest and juice serve two different purposes, so when creating or just looking over someone's recipe, you can get a sense of the finished cookie. Taste is based on whether they use one or both lemon parts.
I tried to find a site that would give a good explanation, but everything I clicked on was just a question and answer page. So I will do my summary:
How to Add Lemon to Your Cookies
The zest is the real taste of lemon. It is a brighter taste of lemon without the acidity. When you zest a lemon, just run the Microplane over a spot once, so you only get the top layer and not the white underneath since it is bitter tasting.
Lemon juice is sour, but I find it helps to keep my cookies from tasting too sweet. The easiest way to get the juice from a lemon is to use a juicer. I found different that citruses determine the type of juicer I use. So for lemons and limes, I use a Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer. For Key limes, you need a reamer, the last time I tried to use my Chef'n Juicer on Key limes, I lost half the juice. So it is handy to have an old-fashioned reamer for a particular fruit.
My Go To Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients For Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup Butter unsalted
- ⅔ cup Powdered sugar
- 2 TBSP Lemon juice
- 3 TBSP Lemon zest
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp Ground ginger
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ to ⅔ cup Hazelnuts
How To Make Shortbread Cookies
Weigh your sugar in a bowl and set it aside. Add the flour, ginger, baking powder, salt, and whisk to blend in another bowl. Now I zest and juice two large or three small lemons.
In a mixer bowl, cream the butter till light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed down and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix for a good 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and add the lemon juice and zest. Next, slowly add the flour mixture and don't over mix until the flour is incorporated. Finally, scrape down the sides and add the hazelnuts.
Take the cookie dough out of the mixer bowl and onto a lightly floured pastry mat. Divide the dough into two sections. Next, you want to roll each section into a log shape and wrap each log with plastic wrap. I try and make my logs even and about 9 to 10 inches long. Place the wrapped logs into the refrigerator for 45 minutes. I roll them a little about every 5 to 10 minutes, so the logs do not get flat on one side.
Turn your oven to 350°F (175°C or 180°C) and preheat. Line your cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. I make my life easier by purchasing parchment paper in sheets, so they are flat. I bought my half sheet flat parchment paper at the WebstaurantStore.
One of the easiest ways to get even cookies is to go down the log and score it with a knife first. You should get 14-16 slices to a log. I put all the slices from one log onto one half-sheet cookie sheet pan—Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Repeat with the second log.
Move the cookies to a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!
I added just a tiny amount of ginger to these cookies for a bit of kick. However, you have to be careful with ginger; it can overpower all the other flavors in your cookie.
Adding hazelnuts was a great choice. I enjoy mild nuts, and I have not used them much this year. I hope you enjoy these cookies from my kitchen to yours.
Lemon Ginger with Hazelnut Shortbread CookiesBarbara Hall
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted room temperature
- ⅔ cup (80 g) Powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon (2 tablespoon) Lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon (3 tablespoon) Lemon zest
- 2 cups (250 g) All-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
- ½ to ⅔ cup (60 g) Hazelnuts
- Weigh or measure into a bowl the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, running a whisk through to blend and set aside. In another small bowl, weigh or measure the powdered sugar and set that bowl aside also—next, zest and juice two lemons. Make sure the zest and juice are in separate containers.
- In a stand or handheld mixer, beat the butter till it is creamy, light, and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer to medium and mix for about 2 minutes. Scape down the sides and finish blending the sugar into the butter. Add the lemon juice and the zest and incorporate it. Turn the mixer down and slowly add the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides, and across the bottom, then add the hazelnuts. Turn the mixer on for about 1 minute to get the hazelnuts to go evenly throughout the dough.
- You want to take the dough out of the bowl and onto a hard surface or pastry mat that has been lightly dusted with flour and check to see that everything is mixed. I divide the dough into two even sections. You want to make a log shape out of each half. My logs were about 9-½ inches long. You want to wrap each log section with plastic wrap and set on a sheet pan before sticking them into the refrigerator for 45 minutes to harden.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C or 180°C), and line 2 cookie sheet pans with parchment paper and set them aside. Taking one log out of the refrigerator, unwrap the plastic wrap, and slice out about 14 to 16 cookies. You can fit them all onto one pan; they do not spread much when baking—Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Repeat with the second log. You should get about 2-½ dozen cookies.
I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist. The nutrition amounts given below are provided through a program and are only a guideline.