Citrus Shortbread Cookies

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Indulge in the delightful combination of tangy citrus and buttery richness with these Citrus Shortbread Cookies. The gentle zest of lemon and orange offers a refreshing twist to the classic shortbread, making these cookies irresistibly enticing. Perfect for pairing with your afternoon tea, these cookies bring a burst of sunshine to any snack time.

These cookies are not only a treat for the taste buds but also a joy to bake. The dough is simple to prepare, and the delightful aroma of citrus that fills your kitchen as they bake is just heavenly. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying your hand at baking for the first time, these cookies are sure to impress with their perfect blend of flavors and simplicity.

Citrus Shortbread Cookies Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, or more to taste
  • 2 cups sweetened dried cranberries, chopped

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  1. Start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and keep it aside for later use.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until the mixture becomes smooth and well-combined.
  3. Next, gently stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and the orange zest into the creamed butter and sugar.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, blending just until the dough is formed without overmixing.
  5. Carefully fold in the cranberries, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  6. Divide the dough evenly into two parts. Shape each half into a log, approximately 7 inches long. Wrap these logs securely in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours to firm up.
  7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Remove the logs from the refrigerator and discard the wax paper or plastic wrap. Slice each log into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
  9. Place these rounds on a baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are firm. Be careful to avoid browning the cookies.

This method ensures that your cookies will have the perfect texture and flavor, with a delightful burst of cranberry and orange in every bite!

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Citrus Shortbread Cookies FAQS

How Long Will Shortbread Cookies Stay Fresh?

Shortbread cookies are known for their ability to stay fresh longer than many other types of cookies. Typically, if stored properly, they can remain fresh for up to 2-3 weeks. Their low moisture content contributes to their longer shelf life, ensuring they maintain their delightful texture and flavor.

How Do You Keep Shortbread Cookies Fresh?

To keep shortbread cookies fresh, store them in an airtight container. This helps to keep out moisture and other contaminants. It’s best to store them at room temperature in a cool, dry place. If you’re in a very humid environment, you might consider adding a packet of silica gel in the container to absorb any excess moisture. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator, as this can introduce moisture and make them soft.

What Are Common Mistakes When Making Shortbread?

  • Overworking the Dough: Overmixing can lead to tough cookies. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Not Creaming Butter and Sugar Properly: The base of shortbread is butter and sugar, creamed together. Not creaming them enough can affect the texture.
  • Using Cold Butter: Shortbread dough typically requires room temperature butter for proper creaming.
  • Skipping the Chilling Step: Chilling the dough before baking is crucial as it helps in maintaining the shape and texture.
  • Overbaking: Shortbread should not be browned like other cookies; they are done when they are just firm to the touch.

How Do You Know When Shortbread Cookies Are Done?

Shortbread cookies are done when they are set and firm to the touch. They should still be pale, with maybe just a hint of golden color around the edges. It’s important not to wait until they are browned, as they can become too hard. Usually, baking for the time specified in the recipe is sufficient, but since ovens can vary, it’s good to check a minute or two before the timer goes off.

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