Isn't it great to use fruit in baking? whether you use the entire fruit or just the rind and juice, like in this recipe for Lemon Pecan Shortbread it just tastes so delicious.
I simply love shortbread, an absolutely delicious rich and buttery cookie which originated in beautiful Scotland.
I usually double this recipe, as it is impossible to make just one batch... they are so quickly snatched off the baking sheet as it removed from the oven....so if you have a family like mine, then I strongly suggest that you double this recipe.
Pecans are used in this recipe but it is not really necessary. I just added it to this recipe because I had a bit leftover from the Carrot cake, These have also been baked without the pecans and they tasted just great, so remember pecans are optional.
Shortbread is a simple bake, and I love the fact that you can add different flavours to it to change the taste, but keep the amazing texture. There are a few easy guidelines which are good to follow to always ensure baked perfection.
Tips for the perfect shortbread
- It is best to chill the dough in the fridge before baking. In this recipe, the dough is rolled into a 30cm long log shape and then wrapped in cling film. It is then sliced into 1 cm thick biscuits and then baked.
- Never overhandle the dough, work as lightly as possible and just bring the ingredients together in a bowl until combined, don't knead the dough. Overhandling causes the baked shortbread to have a tough like texture.
- Ensure that the butter or margarine is at room temperature before creaming with the sugar. Do not use melted butter or margarine.
- The shortbread should still be pale but baked when removed from the oven. It is a bit soft when taken out of the oven but crisps up while cooling.
- Never roll out shortbread dough with a rolling pin, this causes a very tough and chewy texture....you want a crisp shortbread, not a chewy one.
See how easy it is? So with these tips in mind let's get down to the best part, baking the fabulous Lemon Pecan shortbread.
Lemon Pecan Shortbread
- ⅔ cup / 150g butter or margarine
- 6 Tablespoons / 85g castor sugar or white granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
- 1 teaspoon / 5mlfreshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans optional
- 1½ cups /200g cake or all purpose flour
- Cream the butter and castor sugar together in a bowl.
- Stir in the lemon rind.
- Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Continue to mix until you have a smooth dough.
- Roll the dough into a log approximately 12 inches (30cm) long. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 340°F / 170ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Cut the log into 1cm slices and arrange on the prepared baking tray. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool.
- Dust with powdered / icing sugar just before serving. (optional)