Bready or Not: Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

If I fed you at WorldCon/Sasquan in August, these are the cookies you ate.

Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

I was pretty happy that people seemed to like them. A lot.

Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

For me, it was the culmination of several weeks of testing existing recipes to create something that was…

1) Delicious. Come on, I have a reputation to uphold here.

Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

2) That would not melt in transit, which eliminated a lot of recipes right away.

3) A cookie that would travel well, i.e. not crumble, but could also keep for days without going hard or stale.

Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

These shortbread cookies ended up perfect. They have the signature buttery-soft texture of shortbread that is complemented by the slight grit of cornmeal. They are firm enough and thick enough to stack in a container, padded with paper towels, and not break.

Then there is #1: the taste. Sweet. Lemony. Fresh.

Convention-tested. Convention-approved.

Bready or Not: Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

This Bready or Not original makes a 9x13 pan of fresh-tasting shortbread that is both firm and soft. It's excellent for shipping or travel.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: cookies, lemon, shortbread
Author: Beth Cato


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 3 sticks, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • turbinado sugar or sparkling sugar


  • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.
  • In a mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and extract. Beat until it's light and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until it is just mixed. Dump the dough into the ready pan and use an uneven spatula to even it out.
  • Use a knife to score the bars, gently cutting through to establish where it will be sliced again after baking. The dough is very sticky; wipe the blade between passes, and dab the excess back into the top. It doesn't need to look neat. Completely sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar or sparkling sugar.
  • Bake until the shortbread looks dry and golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Immediately use a knife to follow the previous lines and slice the shortbread into bars (when cool, the shortbread will likely crumble when cut). Set the whole pan on a rack to cool, eventually lifting them out by the aluminum foil to finish cooling.
  • Store in sealed containers at room temperature. This lemon cornmeal shortbread is excellent for travel and shipping as it keeps well for at least six days.


Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

No Comments


  1. How to Bake Up an Author Brand | Novelocity - […] don’t even have to mention my latest book as I pass around a container of lemon cornmeal shortbread. My…