Generally speaking, I don’t love cookies. If I were choosing one dessert category to have for the rest of my life, cookies wouldn’t even be in the running. Pie, however, would. But I digress. I do enjoy a good shortbread cookie, especially with tea or coffee, and especially when I’m not forced to share them with the hooligans. I do a lot of 2:30 in the afternoon snacking for this very reason, before they arrive home from school.
A few years ago, I created (that’s a fancy word for made up) a recipe for Lemon Ginger Shortbread that I feel is perfect for winter’s gloomy chill…the lemon is a spot of brightness, and the crystallized ginger gives just a hint of spiciness. And I made them in a cute as a button shape, too. (See, they look like giant buttons!)
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp lemon juice powder (from King Arthur or True Lemon brand from the grocery store juice aisle)
- ¼ cup diced crystallized ginger
- ¼ tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
2. Press into shortbread molds, or roll to a little more than 1/4” thickness and cut into rounds or desired shapes. To make buttons, cut into rounds, then make an imprint with a smaller round, not going all the way through. Use a toothpick to make 4 small holes in the center.
3. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, until edges start to brown. If using a mold, it will take about 30-35 minutes.
4. When you remove cookies from oven, you may need to use a toothpick to clean up the holes a bit.
Makes about 24 button cookies
I use a set of nested biscuit cutters, but you could also just use two drinking glasses. If you haven’t tried the True Lemon powder yet, you should! The packets are fabulous to carry in your purse to sprinkle into water to liven it up a bit, and it also comes in a shaker jar to use at home and in recipes.
You can find crystallized ginger bits at the grocery store or World Market…I like to carry them when we travel, to settle any queasy tummies from motion sickness. Or I eat them from the can, just ‘cause I like them so much!
My point being lemon juice powder and crystallized ginger are great ingredients to keep on hand in your pantry…for so much more than shortbread (although that’s a wonderful use for them!).