This is an interesting spin on traditional shortbread: citrusy cookies with a tart-sweet glaze. They're equally good made with lime or lemon (or a combination), and though I haven't tried it, I feel like you could make something incredible by using grapefruit zest and orange juice.
These keep for at least a week, freeze and ship well, and are very easy to make. Essentially a drop cookie with a two-ingredient, super-simple glaze, they won't require you to destroy your kitchen. They do require the use of a food processor (unless you're using almond meal) - the nuts really need to be ground for the texture to work out right.
The recipe calls for citrus zest, which isn't always handy, but is optional here, and you can totally get away with using bottled juice from concentrate instead - see note below.
- 2 cups (10.5 oz / 300g) almonds, slivered or sliced, toasted
- ~6 tablespoons (0.4 oz / 12g) grated lemon zest (or a splash of lemon juice) (or other citrus)
- 2 cups (4 sticks / 16 oz / 450g) butter, salted or unsalted, room temp
- 1 cup (4.5 oz / 125g) powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.11 oz / 3g) salt
- 6 tablespoons (3.2 oz / 90ml) lemon juice (or other citrus)
- 2 cups (9 oz / 250g) powdered sugar
Pulse almonds and zest (semi-optional; see note below) in food processor until almonds are coarsely ground. Set aside.
Mix butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about a minute. Stop the mixer and add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until homogenous. Scrape down the sides. Add vanilla.
Stop mixer. Add flour, salt, and almond-zest mixture and mix on low speed until the dough comes together to form a rough mass.
Scrape down the bowl to press all the bits of dough together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel; refrigerate for about half an hour.
When ready to make cookies, preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Scoop dough out by rough tablespoons, and roll between your hands to form a ball (if you care to). Place about half an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Lightly press cookies down to about half an inch thickness.
Bake until golden brown on bottom and pale golden on top, 15-20 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
For the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining powdered sugar and citrus juice until it's a smooth, spreadable or pourable texture. Pour this over the cookies (it helps to set them on parchment or aluminum first), or dip them into it individually. Allow glaze to set before serving.
Makes about five dozen smallish cookies. Half or double as needed.
Always pre-toast nuts before baking with them.
The zest is more or less optional. These cookies are excellent with the zest, but if you don't have whole citrus fruit handy, that's not a dealbreaker. I've made these with bottled juice from concentrate, and the flavor ends up being very nearly as delicious as with the zest. The real zing of flavor comes from the glaze, which is absolutely essential.
You could also make these thumbprint-cookie-style, filling the divot with marmalade or lemon curd.
Original recipe here.