Buttery shortbread cookies flavoured with lemon and dipped in chocolate. The perfect accompaniment to all the cups of tea required to survive December.
It’s officially Christmas season and my excitement levels are high because Christmas in London is THE BEST. This will be my second winter Christmas, so the novelty has not yet worn off. I can even forgive the sun for setting at 4pm (4PM!!!) since it means more dark time to enjoy all of the twinkling Christmas lights. Christmas in winter just feels so much more Christmasy than in New Zealand’s summer.
However, there are certain areas in which London does not win when stacked up against New Zealand, and tap water is one of them. This week my never-ending battle against limescale resulted in me thinking I’d poisoned my husband. I accidentally left the jug full of descaler which he then used to make himself a cup of tea. After complaining that the new milk tasted awful and sour, I soon realised what had happened. Luckily after some panicked googling, it turns out that descaling powder is just citric acid, so while it doesn’t taste great in tea, it wouldn’t have killed him. Guess I’ll have to rethink my career as a villainous muderess.
These lemon shortbread cookies on the other hand, do taste great with tea. They’re buttery, sweet, tangy and firm enough to handle a thorough dunking.
To prevent breakages, make sure to give them time to firm up before transferring to a cooling rack. They’re great plain if you’re a shortbread purist, but a quick dip in some molten chocolate really takes them up a level.
I used these cookies to test out my new silicone baking mats, and they won my seal of approval. I go through so much baking paper and wanted a less wasteful alternative so I bought these ones from Amazon. They’re non-stick and safe up to 250ºC. I’ve also used them to roast red peppers and the oily charred residue came right off, leaving them as good as new. Highly recommend to anyone looking to reduce their kitchen wastage. They worked great out of the oven too for setting the chocolate on the cookies. Once set, the cookies peeled right off the silicone leaving no chocolate behind.
- 225 grams butter softened
- 110 grams caster sugar
- 110 grams cornflour
- 230 grams plain white flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Zest from a whole lemon
- Juice from half a lemon
- 80 grams white chocolate
- 80 grams dark or milk chocolate
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (BONUS TIP: If you don't have caster sugar, just give some regular sugar a quick whiz in the food processor)
Sift in the flours and salt, then add lemon zest and juice. Mix together until combined, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly into a ball of dough.
Roll the dough out to approx. 1cm thick. Cut into shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. You may need to re-roll the off-cuts a few times to use it all up.
Arrange the cookies on 2 trays lined with baking paper or silicone mats, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC bake / 150ºC fanbake and bake the cookies for 15-20mins until the edges are light golden. Switch and rotate the trays half-way through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
Leave the cookies on the trays until they've hardened, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Melt the chocolates in separate bowls. If using the double boiler method, be careful not to get any water in the bowl. If using a microwave, heat for only 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each round.
Dip half of the cookies in the white chocolate, and half in the dark. Leave to set on lined trays, then transfer to an airtight container. Will keep for 3-4 days.