easy lemon slice shortbread cookies

easy lemon slice shortbread cookies



Lemons are the hybrid between a sour orange and a citron.

The refreshing, sour flavor brings out a colorful element to any dish.

These cookies are the absolute perfect choice for the transition to cozy fall weather. Here, it’s been pretty stormy lately. I’ve been craving nothing but comfort food and sweets, making it hard to stay on track with any sort of diet.

I have been studying nutrition for quite a while now, and one thing I have learned above anything else is that it is absolutely imperative to maintain equilibrium. That equilibrium is something I have searched for in physics labs, chemistry practicals, calculus equations, and in this case, diet.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that we are not perfect. It is not healthy to attempt to maintain a perfectly “clean,” diet and lifestyle. Instead, try to search for that equilibrium, or a nice balance of food. Seek variety, not perfection.

A recipe to accompany this theme of balance is the delicious lemon slice shortbread cookie. The bitterness and tang in the slice of the lemon paired with the sweetness of the shortbread creates a beautiful flavor profile.  I recently did a similar cookie with mandarins. Check it out here! 

The switch to lemons was inspired by the last things in my desolate, college apartment fridge: two lemons and a bottle of ketchup. Needless to say the ketchup will not be included in this recipe. 

These cookies are perfect for the lazy chef. I am not a huge fan of working too hard for my food, but I also enjoy the occasional artistic flare. Despite how these cookies look, they are actually quite easy to make. The lemon slice on top of the cookie is absolutely gorgeous. Every time I make these cookies I get compliments on how delicious they look. However, it is important to remember that the rind of a lemon is incredibly bitter. Try to slice the lemons as thin as humanly possible, this will keep the cookie from being hard to bite into and on the sweeter side. If you have a mandolin, now is a great time to use it. If not, try a steady hand and a sharp knife.

Let’s get into the recipe:



Difficulty: Not too hard!

About the peel


I have received a lot of concerned comments on this recipe about the lemon peels. Remember, lemon and orange peels have a long history of being candied. Typically, The peels are boiled to remove all of the harsh bitterness. Then, they are covered in sugar to make delicious gummy-like candies.

The only difference with the peels in this recipe is that they are not boiled. Because of this there may be a slight bitter taste, and they can be a little bit tough to bite into.

To combat this, it is important to cut the lemon slices as thin as you possibly can. I would encourage the use of a mandolin if you have one. If not, a very sharp knife will do the trick.

To really remove the bitter flavor, you are also going to want to add a generous amount of sugar to the top of the orange slice before baking. This will give the lemon a brûlée effect. 

Of course if you’re still feeling iffy about the peel, you can always remove it before slicing the lemon.



Shortbread is a traditional Scottish dough made of flour, sugar and butter. Crisp and buttery, they are complimented well by citrus and other fruits.

Read more about shortbread here.


In terms of health, there are certainly better things for you. But for cookies, these aren’t too bad for you, so n=enjoy plenty!

  • Protien 8% 8%
  • Carbs 45% 45%
  • Fat 47% 47%


    • 2 Lemons
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 3/4 cup flour
    • 3/4 cup white, granulated sugar
    • 1 pinch cardamom
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


    Step by Step Instructions

    Step 1

    Wash lemons thoroughly and slice them as thin as possible. You will need 12 good slices. Be sure to scrub the peel well, and use a very sharp knife for cutting.

    Step 2

    Dry them lemon slices well and put them to the side. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Step 3

    Using a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter, egg yolk and sugar until fluffy and well combined. Then, add the remaining ingredients except for the powdered sugar and combine well.

    Step 4

    Roll the dough into a log about 2-2.5 inches in diameter. Freeze the log for 20 to 30 minutes.

    Step 5

    While the dough is in the freezer, roll parchment paper onto a baking sheet

    Step 6

    Cut the dough into 12 even slices, and place the cookies onto the baking sheet. Make sure they are spaced out by 1 to 2 inches. Then, place the dry lemon slices on top of the cookies and generously top with granulated sugar.

    Step 7

    Bake for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling sheet and let cool for 10 minutes. Then top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 

    Related Posts

    healthy stove top turkey chili

    healthy stove top turkey chili

        Chili is delicious. The ultimate comfort food. The kind of food that will remind you of your childhood and a night out in college all at the same time. Chili is ugly though. So let me just say that for what my chili lacks in photographic appeal, it makes...

    southwest zucchini fritters

    southwest zucchini fritters

        These zucchini fritters are absolutely delicious. I've seen them called zucchini pancakes or zucchini patties, but I think fritter just sounds better. Feel free to call them whatever sounds best to you. I chose to put a slightly southwest spin on these...

    tasty and juicy baked chicken breast

    tasty and juicy baked chicken breast

        This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It's easy to make, quick and best of all: tasty. I like to make this chicken when I have a lot of people coming over. It's one of those things that pairs well with any veggie or carb side. I like to serve this...

    About The Author


    Hi! I’m a nutrition major at the University of Maryland specializing in sustainable packaging research. I’d love to teach about living healthier as I learn.

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *