I love shortbread–like eat-an-entire-box-of-it love it, like want-to-try-different-varieties love it, like dream-of-going-to-Scotland-to-have-an-authentic-version love it–which is why I held my breath while making this olive oil-based recipe. Butter-less short-bread did not seem possible but I was pleasantly surprised after just one bite. These cookies are crunchy, crumbly, and oh-so tasty. The dough is a bit tricky to pull together, but with a little elbow-grease and refrigeration (when in doubt always refrigerate these, both raw and after filling, to firm things up) they are absolutely perfect. I love the lemon flavor throughout but would like to experiment with different add-ins, like orange or lavender.
for the cookies:
3 cups flour
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 lemons, zested
lemon curd, recipe below
1. Combine all ingredients, excluding the curd, with a fork. Finish mixing dough by hand (it will be crumbly).
2. Roll dough into a log shape in plastic wrap. Square edges of log by pressing each side against a surface to create long rectangular shape. Chill in fridge for about 20 minutes and cut into thin 24 slices.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, carefully avoiding browning. Let cool completely, then spread lemon curd on inside of one cookie to create twelve sandwiches.
for the curd:
2 large lemons, juiced and strained
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 tbsp lemon zest
1. Place strained lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on low and stir until sugar has dissolved.
2. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl. Remove lemon syrup from heat and pour slowly into beaten egg while stirring mixture with a whisk. Continue to whisk by hand for one minute.
3. Return mixture to saucepan; add lemon zest, and heat on low until it thickens, about two minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a container and cover, then refrigerate to firm (yield: 1 cup).