This yummy shortbread is the first of four shortbread recipes to be posted this holiday season on Food Tastes Yummy. Recently, I was asked via email by a person representing the Gay Lea company marketing if I would be willing to post these holiday shortbreads on my blog. What really appealed me to this idea was the fact that these were the shortbread contest finalists recipes, which indicated to me that they had to be good.

These shortbread recipes were created by cooking school students and I think you can tell by this picture alone why this lemon tart shortbread recipe made it to the finals. As Gay Lea puts it, "These cookies are the perfect sweet treat to brighten any day."

Makes 20 cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F

Baking time: 10-12 minutes per batch

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Lemon Curd Ingredients:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Gay Lea Butter, chilled (cut into 1/8" or 3 mm pieces)*

Shortbread Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted Gay Lea Butter, softened*
  • 3 tbsp finely grated lime zest (about 4 limes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 toasted almonds


In a medium, metal bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar for 2 minutes or until light and smooth. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest; whisk until well combined.

Place the bowl over a saucepan with a small amount of gently simmering water; do not allow the bowl to sit in the water. Cook the egg mixture, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 mnutes or until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Slowly whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Transfer mixture to a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover the surface of the lemon curd directly with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming; cool completely. Chill until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. In another bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and salt until well combined. Add the butter, lime zest and vanilla; stir until just combined. Chill for 1 hour.

Roll dough out, on a lightly floured surface, to be 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. Cut dough with a 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) round cookie cutter. Cut a small hole out of the centre of half of the cookies. Re-roll scraps and cut additional cookies until all the dough is used. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake cookies, in batches, for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Spread a small amount of the reserved lemon curd over the bottom of the solid cookies. Garnish the centre of each cookie with a toasted almond.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use the Gay Lea Butter product is strictly from the Gay Lea company and the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.

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