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Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies

These Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies are rich and buttery cookies with a bright hint of lemon and nutty undertones of poppy seeds. If you’re a shortbread fan, you will absolutely love these simple cookies for snacking or teatime.

Side view of stacked Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies with a white teapot in the background

To me, there is nothing more delicious than a shortbread cookie. It’s perfect for so many occasions. From the holidays to visiting your neighbor, to curling up by the fire with a favorite book… to teatime, any time of the year.

And simple? Oh my, yes! Traditional shortbread cookies are made with 3 ingredients. I’ve added a few more for this delicious twist on tradition. But they are equally easy to make and keep well for quite a while.

What to Love About Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies

  • Buttery and crispy, and 100% delicious!
  • Quick and simple to make.
  • Lemon and poppy seeds should always belong together.
Side view of stacked Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

As I mentioned earlier, traditional shortbread cookies contain three main ingredients, these are made with a few extra flavorings. The exact measurements are in the recipe card below, but here’s a list of what you will need:

  • Butter: you can use salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, you may want to reduce the salt in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon or even eliminate it.
  • Powdered sugar for that sweet, distinctive flavor. If you don’t have powdered sugar on hand, granulated sugar can be substituted. I simply love the texture of confectioners’ sugar.
  • Lemons for zest and juice if you are glazing the cookies.
  • Vanilla extract for that buttery vanilla flavor that is so incredible!
  • All-purpose flour
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Fine sea salt is my prefered salt, but use what you have on hand.
Elevated view of stacked Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies with lemon glaze and lemon zest

Optional Lemon Glaze

If you’re a shortbread cookie purest, you may not want to dip these cookies in the lemon glaze.

But if you love the bright flavor of lemon and sweet glazes, I would suggest adding the glaze. In my house, I’m a bit of a purest, but my husband and son love the glaze. It adds another layer of lemon that is really nice.

The lemon glaze consists of powdered sugar and lemon juice, whisked together until desired consistency is reached.

Top view of unbaked dough, fresh lemons, a marble rollling pin and a baking sheet

How to Make these Shortbread Cookies

The process is so simple. While the step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card below, here is a quick overview.

Step 1: Make the dough

Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest. The mix in the vanilla followed by flour, salt and poppy seeds. Form into a disc and chill for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Roll out the dough and cut into rounds

Roll the slightly chilled dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter or even a glass. Transfer to prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart.

Top view of unbaked shortbread cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet

Step 3: Bake

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Which kind of tea pairs best with lemon cookies?

Black Tea, like Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and English or Irish Breakfast is delicious with lemon cookies., tarts, or cake. It’s also delicious with dark chocolate and cheesecake as well. The slight astringency of black tea make these deserts even more incredible.

How long will shortbread cookies last?

I like to store homemade shortbread cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. They can also be refrigerated for up to 3 week or frozen for longer storage.

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Top view of Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies on a blue and white plate serving for afternoon tea
Side view of stacked Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies with a white teapot in the background

Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies

These Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies are rich and buttery cookies with a bright hint of lemon and nutty undertones of poppy seeds. If you're a shortbread fan, you will absolutely love these simple cookies for snacking or teatime.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 42 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and creamy. Mix in the vanilla.
  • Add the flour, sea salt, and poppy seeds and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the dough. Form into a disc shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or even a glass. Transfer to prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  • Once cooled, you can glaze the shortbread cookies by whisking together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Increase either the powdered sugar or lemon juice to reach desired consistency. Let set for about 15 minutes before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shortbread, shortbread cookies, lemon poppy seed shortbread cookies,

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