Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (2024)

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Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (1)

Growing up, I took attentive notes as year after yearthe women in my family proudly presented their signature Christmas dishes to the family table. Aunt Candace offered her Sweet Potato Casserole; Aunt Maria baked her Cherry Pie; Aunt Suzie whipped up her Green Beans with Bacon; my mom served her sugar cookies.

These recipes became a part of the whole Alcorn Christmas tradition. As kids, my cousins and I all came to expect and anticipate our family's specialties. And it was a matter of pride for the bakers and cooks, to contribute to the family holiday narrative. I remember how rosy and warm my mom's cheeks would get at my cousins' excitement when she unveiled her beautifully decorated sugar cookies.

Needless to say, it was an exciting moment when I asked my mother-in-law what she'd like me to bring to Christmas dinner, and she replied, "Just bring your lavender lemon cookies. It doesn't feel like Christmas without them--I wait for them all year!"

Aaaaaahhhh!! Okay, Pam! I'd be delighted to.

I feel like I’ve arrived.

Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (2)

Making Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies

These cookies taste fancy, but they’re surprisingly simple to make. The secret ingredient is patience.

First, you make the dough, creaming the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar together, then adding the lemon juice and zest. Next, sift the salt, cornstarch and flour and combine with the butter mixture. The lavender flowers are the final touch.

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The key to baking soft, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies is making sure you don’t overwork your dough. If it feels like it’s on the verge of crumbling apart as you’re wrapping it up to chill in the fridge, that’s ok! However, if it’s just too dry to roll into a disc, you can add a touch more lemon juice—just enough to keep it together.

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When the dough is wrapped up and refrigerated, you wait. (Like I said, patience is a non-optional ingredient for these cookies.) Once the dough is fully chilled, roll it out and cut it into your chosen shapes. My go-to shortbread cookie cutter is a little two-inch heart, but these cookies turn out lovely no matter their shape.

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Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (7)

Bake time for shortbread cookies varies depending on the oven, but 12 minutes has been about the perfect amount of time for me to get them baked and just beginning to turn a little golden around the edges. I actually prefer to pull them out of the oven right before their color begins to turn. I am obsessed with keeping them soft.

Once again, patience. These cookies must be cooled completely before icing. But once you’ve dipped the tops of your lavender lemon shortbread cookies in the citrus icing and given them some time to set, the waiting is over, and it is so worth it.

Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (9)

Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (10)

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Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (12)

Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (13)

Buttery, zested, and dressed up in flowers.


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (about 2 large lemons, preferably Meyer)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (about 1 large lemon, preferably Meyer)
1–2 tablespoons lemon juice


Make the Dough

  1. Cream together the butter and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Mix in the lemon juice and zest. Set aside.

  2. Sift together the salt, cornstarch and flour. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until the flour coats the butter but isn’t completely worked in. Add the lavender flowers.

  3. Using your hands, lightly fold the ingredients together until the mixture is no longer dry. You will know it’s done when it forms easily into a dough ball. Try not to overwork the mixture or you will end up with tough cookies!

  4. Flatten the dough out into a disc and wrap tightly in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to three days).


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.

  2. Take the fully–chilled dough and place it on top of a piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/3 inch. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. (This dough barely spreads, so don’t worry about leaving a lot of space between each cookie.) Remove the scraps from between each cookie and re–form into a flat disc. (If dough has become too soft or warm, re–refrigerate it for a few minutes before attempting to roll it out.)

  3. Lift up parchment paper and place on top of cookie sheet. Transfer sheet to upper third of oven and bake for about 12 minutes (or until the edges of the cookies just start turning golden on the edges). Allow to cool before icing.

Ice Your Cookies

  1. Whisk together confectioner’s sugar, lavender flowers, and lemon zest. Start mixing in lemon juice by using one tablespoon at first, then continue adding in only enough to produce a smooth, fluid icing.

  2. The best way I've found to ice the cookies is to dip the tops into the icing, then set bottom side down on a piece of wax paper or cooling rack to let the icing harden.


The fresher the better, but these cookies remain delicious for up to a week, as long as you store them in an air-tight container.

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Carrie’s Classic Christmas Cookies

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Jamie Alcorn

Jamie Alcorn Yoga

make, lavender, lemon, cookies, Summer Recipes, Spring Recipes


Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies — Jamie Alcorn (2024)
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