Get your ovens ready. Our Holiday Cookie Bake-Off is happening now! (Recipe)

Get your ovens ready. Our Holiday Cookie Bake-Off is happening now! (Recipe)
Get inspired with lemony moon and stars cookies. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

If you love to bake for the holidays, enter your favorite cookie recipe in our fifth annual Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off, happening now.

Submit your recipe, a photo of your cookie and a short essay explaining why your recipe should win at by midnight Nov. 14. Then it's up to you, the readers, to vote for your favorites.


The top 50 cookies will be made at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Pasadena and the Los Angeles Times food staff will choose our 10 favorites. If you're a finalist, you'll be invited to come tour The Times test kitchen and be photographed and featured in a future Saturday section of the paper.

If you're looking for a little inspiration, here's a winning recipe for lemony moons and stars submitted by Carol Eblen for our 2012 Holiday Bake-Off.


Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time for the dough | Makes about four dozen (3-inch) cookies.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided

2 teaspoons lemon extract

3 cups (12.75 ounces) flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more if needed

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup powdered sugar over medium speed until creamy. Beat in 3 tablespoons lemon zest and the extract.


3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Beat in the dry ingredients over low speed.

4. Shape the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 1 hour.

5. Roll the chilled dough to a thickness of three-eighths inch between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper to prevent sticking. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters.

6. Place the cookies an inch apart on cookie sheets and bake until the edges are slightly golden, about 10 minutes, depending on size. Cool on racks until the cookies are just warm.

7. To make the glaze, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest and fresh lemon juice in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth (add additional lemon juice or water to thin or powdered sugar to thicken, if needed).

8. To frost, turn the warm cookies over and dip the tops into the glaze. If desired, sprinkle with yellow sugar. Set aside until the glaze is hardened. Store the shortbread in tins with wax paper separating the layers.

Each of 48 cookies: 106 calories; 1 gram protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 6 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 37 mg sodium.