Recipe: Lemony moons and stars

Lemon Moons and Stars.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

I adapted my favorite shortbread recipe to honor one of my guests who wrote the children’s picture book “Under the Lemon Moon.” I used round and star-shaped cookie cutters to make this rich, über-lemony cookie.

— Carol Eblen, Encinitas

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Lemony moons and stars


Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time for the dough

Servings: Makes about 4 dozen (3-inch) cookies.

Note: Adapted from Carol Eblen.

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 the 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 1½ 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.