Old-Fashioned Lemony Shortbread


There is nothing quite like a good “bickie”. The old-fashioned Yo-Yo, Belgian or the famous Shrewsbury biscuit are a few of my favourites. I think it might be because they are all sandwich-style biscuits with a layer of cream or icing in between. Delicious!

So when I saw a recipe for these tangy lemony treats last week I knew I had to try them out. I also had a set of cookie cutters I was given that I could finally put to work (yay!).

These little biscuits are actually heavenly! They are soft, light and crumbly and require very few ingredients. I can almost guarantee that you have everything you need to make them. There is something nice about being able to make a batch of biscuits on the whim and with ingredients already in the cupboard!

I found these biscuits take a little bit more extra labour than your typical ANZAC or Afghan recipe but make up for time in flavour! I did somewhat make more work for myself, too, when I decided to make 40-odd wee miniature little stars rather than a dozen or so bigger ones but worked out really well. I quite like how the lemon zest is still quite visible once baked, though you could easily cut the zest up a wee bit smaller if so desired!

Old-fashioned lemony shortbread

  • 130g very soft butter
  • 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • extra icing sugar for dusting

Put butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until pale and creamy. Don’t rush this step. Sift together flour, cornflour and salt. With beaters running, add the dry ingredients in three lots. Add the lemon zest and beat until fully combined.Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured board. Form into a ball and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Halve the dough and roll out the first portion on a lightly floured surface, or between sheets of baking paper, until about 5mm thick. Cut with a cookie cutter. If you want to, you can cut a small circle or shape out of every second biscuit if desired – like a Shrewsbury!

Place biscuits on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 180° and cool on a wire rack. Repeat process with second portion of dough. Make sure your re-roll any scraps and cut again.

For the lemon icing:

Combine 50 grams of softened butter with 1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest. Beat together with a few drops of boiling water to make a spreading consistency. Sandwich biscuits together with lemon curd or icing and dust with icing sugar!

Make sure you store these biscuits (though they are not likely to last terribly long!) in a sealed container! I thought this recipe could work really well as a small gift for friends or family. Christmas, after all, is just around the corner! Hmmm…

Bit of a poll this time round, what is your favourite biscuit of all time? A kiwi creation or otherwise!

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6 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Lemony Shortbread

    1. Thank you, they are delicious and the flavour seems to get better by the day! I keep telling myself to try and bake with other ingredients or try out other recipes but I keep going back to anything lemon! A flavour and certain tartness you just can’t beat 🙂

  1. I have a million cookie cutters I’ve collected from around the world but I never seem to make biccies, always cake (why? I love biscuits). These look as if they’d make good Christmas presents, they’re so pretty.

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