Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Lemon Love Affair

It seems as if I've been on a lemon kick lately. First it was the Lemon Curd Icebox Cheesecake, then the Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake now these Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread. I even made something lemony again today- I can't get enough! I hope you guys don't mind :-)

I actually made these as a last minute treat to take to the book store to drink with my coffee :-) I know that's kind of like sneaking snacks into the movie theater, but I'm okay with that. Last week I was meeting a friend for coffee and chatting at B&N. Usually we just grab a couple of lattes, we walk around looking for a comfy chair or two and when we don't find one we head back to the noisy cafe area to chat about the weekly events. She mentioned that maybe next time we could get one of their desserts from the bakery counter and I agreed. Then I pondered that idea and changed my mind. Yes I wanted a sweet treat to accompany my beverage but I didn't want a cupcake, cereal treat or slice of cheesecake that had been sitting there for who knows how long. I wanted something fresh.

I did mention that I made these at the last minute right? When I say last minute, I mean I made these right before I hopped in the shower to meet her. They cooled while I was getting ready and I packaged them up before heading out the door while they were still a tad warm. They're simple and quick and they satisfied my craving for buttery shortbread. These shortbread fingers have the addition of lemon zest for added Summery flavor and cornmeal for a slight toothy crunch. I topped them with a little raw sugar for a little more sweetness and they were just right. They kind of reminded of lemon bars but without the gooey filling and a little more crumbly- delicious.

Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread adapted from Fine Cooking

Printer Friendly Version

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup or 12 T.) unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Turbinado or sparkling sugar (optional)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease the sides and bottoms of an 8x8-inch square baking pan. Line with a sheet of parchment. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, lemon zest and extract. With a hand mixer, beat on medium high speed til light and creamy; about 3 minutes. Add the flour, cornmeal and salt and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form moist clumps. Dump the dough into the prepared pan.

Using a rubber spatula (I used my hand moistened with water) spread the dough into the pan in a smooth even layer. Dip the tip of a knife or a bench scraper in flour to prevent sticking and score the dough all the way through the bars. Cut the bars into finger like shapes (I cut the bars into 6 pieces on one side and 3 on the other side for a total of 18 pieces). Sprinkle the tops of the uncooked shortbread with turbinado or coarse grain sugar.

Bake until the tops look dry and are golden, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack. Immediately cut the shortbread into bars using the previously scored lines as a guide (they will have faded a bit during baking). Let the bars cool completely in the pan before removing them from the pan.

NOTES: It's important to cut the shortbread as soon as it comes out the oven . If you wait til it's cooled, it will crumble when you try to cut it.

~ If you leave an overhang on the parchment paper, it will be easier to remove from the pan.

38 comments:

Selba said...

Looks so yummy!

oneordinaryday said...

They sound delightful. I love anything lemon or lime, so I can't wait to see what else is coming!

cookies and cups said...

gorgeous and delicious! I want to meet you at B&N and discuss stuff ;)

busyrunningmama said...

These look awesome, I hope to try them soon!!!

Smitten Sugar said...

Yum! I love lemon so I dont mind at all...keep the recipes coming!

How fun you made these last minute! I bet these were delicious with your lattes!

Heidi said...

Lemon is so refreshing in the summer! I'm so glad you've been posting lots of lemon recipes. I have 6 of them smiling at me from the counter :)

Jennifurla said...

Printed.They looks scrumptious

RedHead said...

Well I just spent the last hour reading your other blog and am just amazed by your ability to see the positive in life after going through so much negative. I've been reading "lick the Bowl Good" for quite some time but had no idea the life you've led. You're an inspiration and thanks for sharing such personal moments with all of us. I hope that it helps you as much as it helps those who read it.

Amanda said...

Those look fantastic! I love shortbread. Mmm!

steph said...

These look good. The cornmeal is a very interesting ingredient for a sweet snack. I'll have to try these. We love lemon at our house too.

Anonymous said...

Those look amazing. I was craving shortbread yesterday, but made peanut butter cookies instead, because they are easier for me to resist! I bet they'd be good with other citrus, too.

mbc said...

You're getting to me with these lemon posts! Cornmeal and lemon, huh? I trust you AND just happen to have accidently purchased an extra carton of corn meal, not knowing I already had one. This may be a perfect fit for my little pantry dilemma. Yummy!

Megan said...

I was just thinking about making something lemony, I have a surplus of lemons in the fridge and now I know what to do with them!

Hennifer said...

Yummy! I'm eager to try these. I never get tired of lemon so keep em coming :-)

elle said...

I sure do not mind! I love lemon!!!!

Leslie Limon said...

I am loving all of the lemon recipes! The shortbread looks amazing! :) And I have everything in my pantry to make these! :)

Red30 said...

These looks so good!! I have been wanting someting lemony but sweet (other than lemonade or a drink) for the past 2 weeks, I have a recipe for glazed lemon cookies that I make, but I wanted someting different. I found a recipe for a lemon sugar cookie that I want to try, but now that I see these I think I will try them. I love shortbread and I think the lemon flavor added to it will be a real treat!! Cornmeal, hmm who would've ever thought!!


One question though, how sweet are these? I love shortbread because it's not usually as sweet as alot of your usual cookies or bars but I still like from the shortbread to have a sweet taste.

wooliegirl said...

Oh thanks for this recipe, it sounds perfect. I have a lemon calling my name and just couldn't decide on what to make...this is it!
I am all for taking a snack you know you will enjoy and not throw away!

Andrew's Mom said...

I love love love lemon. I'm not a huge chocolate fan and like Ingrid - I'm not a raisin fan either - but give me lemon baby! I am so going to make these.

Monica H said...

Red30 - These are like your typical shortbread. Not too sweet. Even with the added sugar on top (which was my addition) they were spot on. I hope you'll try them.

Monica

Maranda said...

These look amazing! My favorite thing from the pastry case at B&N can only be gotten during the summer. It's their lemon raspberry bar. So good! I love lemon too by the way. LOL!

Susi said...

What a delightful dessert. I'm bookmarking this one!

allison [a for aubergine] said...

my mouth is pukering just thinking of these! i love lemon.

From the Kitchen said...

I just got off the phone making a plan to meet two of my dearest friends at B & N on Friday. We all love shortbread. I have never heard of putting cornmeal in shortbread but I think it sounds delicious. I've printed the recipe. I have all the ingredients. You've done it again for me Monica!!

Best,
Bonnie

Memória said...

I don't remember going to B&N with you and eating these bars. OH! You're talking about another friend. I didn't know you had other friends LOL! j/k You know I'm mad at you for that photo of the microplane grater, right?! *GRRRR*

I'm so jealous of your lighting. I love the overhead shots of the cut bars. You cut them perfectly. Goodness, they look good!

Katie said...

These look delicious and wonderfully soft and crumbly. I have never seen a shortbread recipe with cornmeal in it before - I suppose it does the same job as ground rice. Love the fresh lemon for a bit of added zing.

Brooke said...

Oh yum! I have a bit of a love affair with lemon too. Today I had a craving for homemade lemonade but they don't sell it at the grocery store anymore (in Australia). So instead I bought a lemon and will add it too some iced water with a little sugar. mmm.

Georgia Brydon said...

I just put some of these in the oven. I think in future I will double the mixture (or not eat so much as I go - it was very tasty!).

Monica H said...

Georgia- The original recipe actually is double this amount and baked into a 9x13 for the same amount of time (35-40 mins). However the full recipe has 1 Tbsp. lemon zest and I didn't think that was enough, that's why even though I halved the recipe I kept the zest the same. You could easily double this but since there are only 2 of us around here I didn't want an entire pan of shortbread to eat!

megan said...

how has it taken this long for me to find your blog? I love your writing style, and your pictures are beautiful. Plus I've heard that your recipes are delicious - I think I"ll become a frequent reader :)

and the lemon shortbread bars look wonderful - lemons were made for summer :)

Barbara Bakes said...

I love lemon too. These sound perfect for an afternoon snack with a friend.

girlichef said...

omg, I don't mind at all! As a matter of fact, these may be my favorite lemony things thus far...drool. I'm probably gonna have to try these, they are beyond amazing!! =)

Tiger Fan said...

Long story short version--I was desparate for an easy recipe to take to an outdoor jazz concert ---to supplement take out panini! I said to myself "check out Lick the Bowl Good" and so I did. I made this super easy recipe and LOVED them. Kind of a cross between a biscotti and cookie and I love the cornmeal crunch. I am a lemon nut! Thank you--thank you --thank you. And as always, I love your pictures.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Lemon is my chocolate. Big time. I so have to make these, Monica. While I'm trying to cut back on my baking of dessert... these are a must make. I'll share them with my coworkers, who are all on a diet. Yeah, right. I see what they're eating! They'll love it!
PS: I so wish you would create a Facebook Fan Page. Really. I have one, and it's a fun way to communicate with your fans, without having to post something. I'd be the first to become a fan.
Think about it?
xoxo

Monica H said...

Tiger Fan- I'm glad you thought of this blog when you needed a recipe. I'm glad you liked them- THANK YOU for stopping by!

Debby- I say make them for those on a diet- ha!

Facebook? I'm not so sure. I spend enough time on the computer as it is. If I ever do though, you'll be the first to know :-)

Smitten Sugar said...

These are so simple and pretty! I love lemon so I will have to give these a try soon!

Ingrid said...

I don't have any problem with all your lemon desserts! Much better than all chocolate ones and we won't even mention the other one I'd rather not see. LOL!

Since these aren't really cookies I'll be whipping up a batch for myself.

Wish I was the friend you were meeting up with! :(
~ingrid

Red30 said...

I made these this weekend and OH MY GOODNESS (will be posting pics on my blog)!!! They were wonderful!! I made them Sunday evening along with some lemon sugar cookies and brought them to work, you talking about people ripping into some sweets LOL!!

The bars turned out a bit more chewy and buttery (by accident) then they should have, I think I add a tad bit more butter than I needed to when I doubled the recipe but they were still soooooooooooooo good. I made another batch of the bars last night and didn't double the receipe and they turned out like they should have. My sisters and mom prefer the chewy buttery ones better but I love both!!

Thanks again for sharing this recipe!! Now I think I am going to try the Pulled Pork Recipe you posted (with chicken) along with a recipe for some yeast rolls I think I got from your blog as well!! :-)

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