THANKS to Helen Pitura for this subtle, citrusy twist on traditional holiday shortbread.
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) corn starch
125 ml (1/2 cup) icing sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh grated lemon rind
170g (175 ml or 3/4 cup) butter, softened
coloured sugars for decorating (optional)
Preheat oven to 150C (300F). In a large bowl, combine flour, corn starch, icing sugar and lemon rind. Blend in butter with a large spoon, and then work with hands until a soft, smooth dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 5 mm (1/4 in) thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Sprinkle with decorative sugar, if desired.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. For a lemon-almond variation, add 175 ml (3/4 cup) finely chopped almonds to dough. For a lemon-poppy seed variation, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) poppy seeds to dough. Yields about 3 dozen, depending on size.
Tester's notes: Lemon and poppy seed add subtle flavour to these delicate and not-too-sweet cookies. I enjoyed making this recipe because it uses the method I learned from my mother and grandmother, which is to mix the shortbread dough by hand. The edges of my first batch frazzled a little during baking, so I put the second batch of cut cookies in the fridge to firm up for 15 minutes or so. Rolled quite thin and cut out quite small, my cookies were done by about the 12-minute mark.
For our annual 12 Days of Cookies, we'll publish a recipe every day to get you started on your holiday baking. To see last year's recipes, and this year's collection, go to wfp.to/cookies