Lemon Shortbread Biscuits

Delicious any time of the year.  Decorate with royal icing at Easter time, make larger biscuits then fill with strawberries and fresh cream for afternoon tea in the summer time or spice them up as a festive treat at Christmas time. Easy to make and serve plain or why not use the left over egg white and the half a lemon to make a royal icing and release your piping skills !  Makes a delicious gluten free biscuit too ! https://youtu.be/2UQPBksYToA


In a roomy mixing bowl place the flour, lemon zest and sugar then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Adding the lemon zest at the outset releases lemon flavour as the zests are rubbed together with the flour.   I prefer to do the rubbing in by hand as I believe the final biscuit is much lighter than from a mix made in a machine.

Add the lemon juice and extract to the egg yolk, give a quick stir then pour into the mix. Give a stir with a metal knife then bring the mixture together using the hands.  The dough will readily form into a ball.

I then prefer to place the dough between two sheets of plastic and roll out into a circle about the thickness of a £1 coin. Transfer the dough into the fridge and leave for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Take from the fridge and cut out the biscuits and transfer to two baking sheets and I like to line my sheets with reusable baking parchment. When all the dough has been used, after rolling and re-rolling the trimmings – pop the baking sheets into the fridge and leave to chill until the oven comes up to temperature.

Heat the oven to 175 degrees (fan) then I bake just one tray at a time. Bake for just 8-10 minutes until the biscuits are set with just the slightest hint of colour.  Remove from the oven and lay the tray on a cooling rack.  Allow the biscuits to cool before removing them from the tray.  If you decide to ice your biscuits then make a royal icing as follows.

In a small bowl beat the egg white until frothy then start to add the sifted icing sugar and whisk well between each addition. You need a consistency of soft peaks.  Add lemon juice if the icing is too thick.  Whisk well for about 5 minutes so that you have a smooth shiny icing.

When the biscuits have cooled completely then decorate as you wish.

These biscuits will keep well in an airtight tin for at least a week.

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