Cranberry Lemon Shortbread

Cranberry Lemon Shortbread

This cranberry lemon shortbread is tantalizing and delicious. They have a crisp buttery texture with a hint of lemon zest and lovely chewy cranberry bites.



Shortbread is a renowned Scottish biscuit which is now enjoyed around the world. Loved for its sweet, rich buttery taste and crisp-crumbly texture, perfect with a cup of tea. This recipe is no different, I have simply added the zest of a lemon and some succulent dried cranberries to create the special shortbread for Christmas, but to be honest this shortbread can be enjoyed year-round, and the cranberries can be substituted for another type of dried fruit.


They are really quick and easy to make with the most important ingredient being butter. Make sure you use a good quality butter, after all with almost as much butter by weight as flour, the secret to this amazing shortbread is flavourful butter. I like to use one that has a high butterfat content of at least 82%, which you can check by reading the ingredients on the brand’s packaging.

I love to bake a few different biscuits/cookies for Christmas and arrange them on a nice platter for when people drop by. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these Christmas recipes: gingerbread, Viennese biscuits, chestnut snowball cookies, cinnamon biscuits and Linzer Biscuits.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


RECIPE HIGHLIGHTS

  • EASE: incredibly easy to make and you only need to use one bowl.
  • FREE-FROM: check my substitutions section for gluten-free and sugar options.
  • GREAT FOR: a treat, Christmas or friends and family visiting, they also make nice homemade gifts!
  • TASTE & TEXTURE: a sweet, rich buttery taste and crisp-crumbly texture with a hint of lemon and chewy cranberries.
  • SERVING: they are delicious on their own served with a nice hot cup of tea.
  • QUANTITY: 15 cookies
  • TIME: 14 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling.


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    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    INGREDIENTS

    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Butter – adds structure and flavour. I use salted butter for most of my baking as it intensifies the flavours, but feel free to use unsalted if you prefer. Make sure it’s at room temperature before using.
    • Caster sugar – adds sweetness and structure.
    • Pure vanilla extract or paste adds flavour and enhances the other ingredient flavours in the recipe.

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla pods.

    • Semolina – helps to create a lighter biscuit.
    • Plain (all-purpose) flour – builds structure.
    • Lemon zest – adds a citrus hint.
    • Dried cranberries – give a nice chewy texture to the shortbread.

    TIP: I highly recommend adding a good pinch of fine salt to your biscuit doughs. In a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouths’ ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells, thus triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also triggers our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.




    SUBSTITUTIONS

    While I am making recommendations for alternative ingredients, I haven’t necessarily tried them. If you try making any adaptions, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.

    GLUTEN-FREE OPTION

    SUGAR-FREE AND LOW-CALORIE OPTIONS

    • Sugar-free or calorie reduced options: try powder alternatives such as coconut sugar, natural erythritol, xylitol, stevia or fructooligosaccharide powder instead. There are also sweetener mixes available, that are 70% calorie reduced and low in carb. Avoid using liquid sweeteners as this will imbalance the recipe and cause the dough to be a big sticky mess.

    WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE?

    This shortbread recipe can be enjoyed without the lemon zest and cranberries, making it an ideal base for other flavours. Check out some of the ideas below:

    • Citrus flavours – try adding orange zest instead of lemon.
    • Spices – experiment with spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or cardamon.
    • Dried fruits – you can try pretty much most dried fruits in this recipe. If they are large just remember to cut them up into nice small pieces. This will help when it comes to slicing the shortbread.
    • Freeze-dried fruit – will also work well in this recipe, adding a really delicious intense fruit flavour.
    • Chocolate – add 100 grams of chocolate chips.

    Recommendations include: Strawberry, passion fruit, raspberry, wild blueberry, blackcurrant, mango, pineapple or kiwi.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    NUTRITION

    Serving: one shortbread

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Cranberry Lemon Shortbread

    STORAGE AND FREEZING

    Store the shortbread in an airtight container for 5-7 days at room temperature.

    Freezing the shortbread dough – cut the disks from the log, place them on a baking tray or plate, lined with baking paper and put them in the freezer. Once the shortbread disks have frozen solid, approx. 30 minutes, transfer them to a freezer-safe, airtight container. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Bake them from frozen, adding an additional 1-2 minutes to the instructions above.

    Freezing the baked shortbread – cool the biscuits completely after baking and place them in a freezer bag or airtight container. They will last up to 1 month. When you are ready to serve, allow the cookies to reach room temperature before serving.


    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. If you want to share this recipe, please do so using the share buttons provided. Please do not republish the recipe or its content in full instead, include a link to this post for the recipe. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

    Here is some kitchen equipment that I use and recommend for this recipe.

    TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
    If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.


    RECIPE TIPS


    Use room temperature butter
     – cold butter will not cream together properly with the sugars.

    Resting and chilling the dough – if you want to get the best results, placing the dough in the fridge prior to baking allows the dry ingredients to absorb the moisture from the wet ingredients. This creates more flavour in the dough and because the fats are also chilled it prevents the shortbread from spreading out too quickly during baking.

    Avoid over baking the biscuits – all ovens are different, and you want to avoid overbaking this shortbread. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the baking time to ensure they are only just slightly golden.

    Cranberry Lemon Shortbread

    Cranberry Lemon Shortbread

    Preparation:5 minutes
    Baking:12 minutes
    Chilling:1 hour
    Total:1 hour 17 minutes
    Servings: 15 biscuits
    This cranberry lemon shortbread is tantalizing and delicious. They have a crisp buttery texture with a hint of lemon zest and lovely chewy cranberry bites.

    INGREDIENTS LIST
     

    • 100 g butter (at room temperature)
    • 150 g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp of vanilla paste
    • 1 piece lemon (zest only)
    • 140 g plain flour (all-purpose)
    • 40 g semolina flour
    • a pinch of fine sea salt
    • 50 g dried cranberries

    Preparation
     

    • In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth and creamy.
    • Sift the flour, salt and semolina into the bowl and mix together to create a smooth dough. It may seem a little dry at first, but it will come together. Avoid overworking the dough as it will cause the shortbread to be tough.
    • Place a large piece of clingfilm on the work surface and scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl onto the clingfilm. Shape the dough into a log about 4cm (1½ inch) in diameter. You can use the clingfilm to help shape the dough rolling it up at the ends.
    • Place it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
    • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 170°C fan / 375°F / Gas 5. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
    • Unwrap the chilled log and using a sharp knife, slice each roll into approximately fifteen 6mm (¼ inch) thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking trays, allowing space around them.
    • Baking: Bake for 14-16 minutes until they are just lightly golden. Once baked remove from the oven and allow them to rest on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
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    KEYWORDS dried cranberries, lemon, shortbread

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    Cranberry Lemon Shortbread

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