When I’m craving a simple yet satisfying cookie, I often turn to my mother’s tried and tested recipe for lemon shortbread. The dough can be made by hand in minutes, but if you are in a hurry, a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment will do the job for you in a matter of seconds. The almond meal adds moistness and longevity to these cookies, and the potato starch helps create an ineffably light texture.
- 100 g icing sugar, plus extra for
- dusting (optional)
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 200 g (1Б⁄Д cups) self-raising flour
- 50 g (Ч cup) almond meal
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds
- scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla
- bean paste
- finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
- (or 2 small ones)
Cream the icing sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, or use a wooden spoon (the old-fashioned way is more laborious, but that’s how my nonna used to make these!).
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Roll the dough into a log. Wrap it firmly in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Take the dough log out of the fridge and cut into 1 cm thick rounds. Place them on the prepared tray, leaving plenty of room for spreading, and bake for 12–15 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden. Cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve as they are or dusted with extra icing sugar.