lemon shortbread hearts

1-1/2 dozen    |   
Prep Time:
20 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
10 minutes

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Who else would I turn to for the perfect Valentine’s sweet but Jodi? She’s my cookie queen, the host of the annual cookie exchange I go to, and a great baker. When I was a food editor at a magazine, I got completely sick of doing the annual Valentine’s chocolate story, so I can’t wait to have lemon this year instead. While the cookies are ultra easy to make, Jodi asked me to remind you not to roll them too thin or they will shatter. And the last thing anyone needs is a broken heart.



1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar


Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until light and smooth, about 2 minutes more. Beat in the zest and vanilla. Add flour and pinch salt and mix on low speed until dough just comes together. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Top with another sheet of plastic wrap and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer the wrapped dough to the refrigerator and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap from dough and using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut the cookies. Place cookies on one of the baking sheets, about an inch apart. Reroll dough scraps to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out additional cookies; place on second baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of granulated sugar. Chill 10 minutes before baking.

Bake cookies until very lightly browned on the bottom and edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat the cutting and baking with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.