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lemon nutmeg shortbread with lemon icing.

Note to self: when promising your daughter you’ll bake something “really yummy,” consult your pantry first.

We had lemons.  And not a whole lot else.  So we made this recipe.

And LOVED them.

Whip up your butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in one bowl.

And your dry ingredients, including a healthy dose of nutmeg, in another.

After rolling and cutting them out, pop them in the oven and drizzle with a lemon icing when cooled.

And then pull out all your girliest linens and photograph them 27 different ways to see which way looks the prettiest.

Lemon Nutmeg Shortbread with Lemon Icing

adapted from Epicurious

(25 cookies)

What You’ll Need:

1 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour ($.18 at $.35/lb)

2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch (trace)

1/2 tsp. nutmeg ($.11 at $.22/tsp)

1/2 cup butter at room temperature ($.75 at $.75/stick)

1/3 cup sugar ($.11 at $.60/lb)

zest of 1 lemon (free!…if you grow your own)

1 tsp. vanilla (free!…if you make your own)

Lemon Icing

3 tsp. lemon juice (free!)

1/4 cup powdered sugar ($.07 at $.60/lb)


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, cornstarch and nutmeg in a medium bowl.  Separately, beat butter, sugar, lemon peel and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Turn dough onto a sheet of wax paper.  Gather into a ball and flatten into a disc.  Cover with second sheet of wax paper.  Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness, turning and freeing up the dough occasionally.  Remove top sheet and cut out shortbreads using 2 inch cutters (I used the top of a small jar to make round shapes).  Transfer to 2 ungreased baking sheets.  Gather and re-roll dough, but no more than twice.

Bake shortbreads until firm to the touch and just about to color, about 12 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the icing.  Drizzle with a fork over the shortbreads and cool.

TOTAL:  $1.22


66 calories per cookie

4 grams of fat

8 carbs

.5 grams protein

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love lemony desserts. Somehow they make me feel less bad about eating dessert, maybe because they taste so refreshing! Great recipe.

    June 9, 2011
    • I agree, especially when I’m eating desserts standing up! Calories just don’t count that way 🙂

      June 11, 2011
  2. mb #

    They look so delish…good to know that I am not the only one that almost needs to delete the memory card after each recipe.

    June 9, 2011
    • Did you try the recipe? I’d love to hear how it went.

      June 11, 2011
  3. How can you make your own vanilla for free? You have to have vanilla beans or something to start with — and don’t you need alcohol for them to age in: that’s not free either. Please explain, or refer me to the earlier post where you explained this.

    The cookies sound good though.

    September 26, 2011
    • Thanks for the feedback! When I was first getting started I included “free” for items I made or grew myself so you’re right it’s a little misleading. I’ve been meaning to include a post about making your own using brandy and vanilla beans so you’re right there would be a small cost for those items. The good news is it’s way less than buying extract!
      Learning as I go here…
      Thanks for the feedback!

      September 27, 2011
  4. I always like to know the rules. You inspired me to look up making my own vanilla extract and we have some ancient vodka sitting around…

    September 27, 2011
    • Go for it! I use 2 vanilla beans (about 2-3 inches in length) split down the middle, soaked in 1/2 cup brandy (or vodka works too). I put it in a tall bottle with a cork on the top (got it at the Container Store) and let sit for at least 2 weeks before using. And even after I use up all the liquid I still refill with alcohol several more times using the same vanilla beans.
      Happy Baking!

      September 27, 2011

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