Stamped Citrus Shortbread Recipe (2024)

By Susan Spungen

Stamped Citrus Shortbread Recipe (1)

Total Time
40 minutes, plus chilling
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Use cast-iron cookie stamps to leave imprints on this beautifully textured shortbread, which is flavored with tangy orange and lemon zests. The stamps, which are available online, are a fun way to shape and decorate cookies without much effort. (Don’t be afraid to be generous with the flour, on the cookie balls and on the stamps themselves, shaking off excess so you still get a clean imprint.) But if you don’t have stamps, you can roll and cut the dough using a simply shaped cutter, or roll the dough into a log for slice-and-bake cookies.

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Yield:About 2 dozen cookies

    For the Cookies

    • 2cups/255 grams all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
    • cup/45 grams cornstarch
    • ½teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
    • ½cup/100 grams granulated sugar
    • 1orange (preferably tangelo)
    • 1lemon
    • ½teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½teaspoon lemon extract

    For the Glaze

    • ¾cup/75 grams sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1tablespoon melted butter
    • 1tablespoon fresh orange juice, plus more as needed

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (24 servings)

150 calories; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 41 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Stamped Citrus Shortbread Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Prepare the cookies: Add flour, cornstarch and salt to a medium bowl, and whisk to combine. Set aside.

  2. Step


    Combine butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Zest half the orange and half the lemon directly into the bowl. Reserve the lemon and orange for the glaze. Cream the butter mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and lemon extracts and beat on medium speed until well combined, scraping the bowl a few times as needed.

  3. Step


    Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Scrape the bowl and fold a few times to make sure everything is well combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, and chill until firm, at least 1 hour, and up to 3 days.

  4. Step


    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough in half and let one piece warm up for 30 minutes if it has chilled longer than an hour. Return the other half to the refrigerator. Portion the dough into pieces roughly the size of walnuts (a scant 2 tablespoons/about 35 grams), then roll each piece into a ball between your hands. One at a time, dip a ball of dough into flour and set on work surface. If dough balls soften too much, return them to the refrigerator to firm up for a few minutes. You want it cool, but malleable. Dip cookie stamp in flour, and press down on the ball of dough until it is about ¼-inch thick. Remove stamp. (If dough sticks to stamp, carefully peel it off. Don’t worry about excess flour as you will brush it off after chilling.) Trim the edges using a 2-inch cookie cutter, and transfer dough rounds to 2 parchment- or silicone mat-lined baking sheets, arranging them about 1½ inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough.

  5. Step


    Once you have stamped out all the cookies, knead together the scraps to make a few more. Chill in the freezer until very firm, about 10 minutes. When cold, brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush.

  6. Step


    Bake until cookies just start to turn golden underneath, 12 to 14 minutes, switching the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time.

  7. Step


    Make the glaze while the cookies bake: Zest the remaining skin from the reserved lemon and orange into a small bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar, butter and orange juice and whisk until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more orange juice. If it is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. It should be the consistency of thin custard.

  8. Step


    Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, and transfer to a wire rack set over a parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Pick up a cookie, and using the back of a small spoon, spread a generous teaspoon of glaze on a cookie, letting any excess drip onto the next cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are glazed. Cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.



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Cooking Notes


I love those cast iron stamps. Where might I purchase those?

M Davis

almost anything interesting will do for a cookie stamp. I often use a piece of jewelry, cleaned and dusted with cornstarch.


A meat mallet with a waffle or crosshatch pattern can be used as a cookie stamp.

sue e

These have a very nice texture and flavor to them. A few observations:- follow the directions, especially in relation to chilling and freezing the stamped cookies prior to baking- I thought the glaze needed more liquid and it is VERY important to glaze while the cookies are very warm. I found that a delicate pastry brush was more effective than spooning the glaze onto them. When using the pastry brush, the cookie press indentations were more pronounced and made the cookies look more festive!

Blue Sunflower

King Arthur Flour and Williams-Sonoma have the stamps, as well as Nordic Ware’s web store


Beautiful texture & flavour. When I bake I weigh my ingredients. I used a scale to weigh 35-gram portions of dough. I realize it says "about 2 dozen," but I think 18 cookies falls well short of that. To stretch out the recipe I made a dozen cookies at 35 grams each & 6 cookies at 30 grams each. I would advise against using a "generous teaspoon of glaze" on each cookie. I did so and the recipe barely covered a dozen. Backing off a bit allows the designs on the cookie stamps to come thru.

Susan Spungen

This is the "Geo" set from Nordic ware, plus the honeycomb one. I bought them for a good price on Amazon, but you can also order directly from Nordic Ware

Carol Bradford

I used the waffle side of the meat pounder and the cookies are lovely. Forget all that extra dusting flour. Chill the dough as directed, make the balls and lay a piece of plastic wrap on top, then stamp. No sticking. I didn't trim each cookie with a cutter and reroll the scraps either. Might do that if I were catering a royal wedding but not otherwise.


As an alternative to a cookie stamper, Martha Stewart uses a meat pounder-tenderizer instead.


The cookies look better than they taste. It has a floury/starchy flavor and the citrus glaze is far from citrusy. It's a hefty amount of work for the mediocre outcome. I love stamped cookies but these I will not be baking again.

Donna in Inwood

I made a gluten-free version of these cookies subbing almond flour on a 1-1 basis for the all-purpose flour. I was afraid they might be too "short," since almond flour contains a lot of fat, but they came out great! I happened to have orange extract but not lemon, which was fine. For the glaze, I don't eat white refined sugar so I made confectioners sugar by whirring up 1 cup of maple sugar in a high-speed blender with 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour till it was powdery. Nice, non-chocolate treat


I ordered these stamps as soon as I saw the recipe. Love them and these cookies! My designs stayed in the dough beautifully; I put them in the freezer for at LEAST 10 minutes after stamping. But they were no where near baked at 14 min. It took at least 20 min to get any sort of golden color, and in fact they seemed to do better at 375F. Spooning glaze (even thinned out) covered the design too much in my opinion. I had much better results painting it on with a pastry brush. Yield 18ct, 35g each


I used the Nordic Ware stamps and the cookies turned out just like the photo. A few notes:- I didn’t chill the dough before scooping it into balls. Rather, I scooped balls, and then chilled those for 30 minutes. - I thinned the glaze with almost double the amount of juice to get it to “thin custard.”- To help get a thin coating that wouldn’t fill the decoration in too much, I put about 1/2 tsp glaze in the centre of the cookies, then rubbed it around to cover. Success!

Timothy CLARK

Try the Greek addition : fresh chopped Rosemary. (And remember this is a very healthy addition.)


Made the dough exactly as written, except I had a bergamot so I used that instead of orange. They are beautifully textured, light, and just different enough to feel special. I opted to slice and bake because I didn’t have the stamps, but I tried a crinkle cut knife (alternating with straight) to create some texture on the tops for the glaze to sink into. (Also ended up thinning the glaze a bit, as suggested.) I am delighted with the end result! Highly recommended.


No lemon extractExtra zest in everything

Lois Fox

I made 22 cookies out of this following the recipe pretty much precisely although I didn’t have any lemon extract. Used a Meyer lemon and oranges from our tree. Used almost an entire orange for a double recipe of the glaze but it was not necessary to double it. Cooked 16 minutes in a convection oven at 350. Lovely lemony orangey shortbread cookies.


I used half butter half margarine because I didn't have enough butter. They turned out amazing. I used snowflake cookie stampers and they look so precious!


I made these cookies because they look lovely and thought they would complement my cookies beautifully. They were a pretty solid amount of time and I was seriously disappointed. There was no flavor to the, they were dry and tasteless. I won’t wast my time on these at all.


Agree with others that the citrus flavor is rather subdued - next time I will double the zest in the dough. My major qualm is with the thickness of the cookie. The recipe says 1/4 inch, but that thickness is nearly impossible to get with the cookie stamp, and even in the video the thickness appears to be closer, if not more than, 1/2 inch. I think the choice of stamp matters as well - more graphic designs (like the image) show up better than more complex ones.


I recommend watching the video on YouTube.

Chocolate sauce

I made these today and they are delicious with and without the glaze. Only problem was that the stamp design was difficult to see after baking. Any suggestions?


Delicious as written! I'm thinking maybe a drizzle of melted chocolate the next go around just to give it a try. Lovely cookie with or for tea (time), snack, breakfast, whenever your heart desires!


Based on other comments, I used the zest of three large navel oranges an two whole lemons. I used 1/2 of this in the cookies and the rest in the glaze. I also used 1/2 tsp of lemon oil, 1/2 of orange oil and 1/2 tsp of vanilla in the cookies. I still think the final produce could have used more citrus. But the cookies tasted good and had a nice texture, even though we rolled them out several times to use every scrap of dough.

Tracy S.

These cookies were delicious! I will not, however, use a cookie stamp. It took forever to roll the dough into balls, stamp the design, then cut the stamped cookie into a circle. Once I spread the glaze, the simple design--a snowflake-- was barely discernable. Next time I will use one of their alternative methods. If I want really pretty cookies, I will cut with a scalloped round, and if I am less invested in beautiful cookies, I'll chill the dough into logs and slice and bake as needed.


Hi ~ I took my finished dough and rolled it into a ball then threw it in the freeezer (I was in a hurry), cut it in half, quartered each half and finally rolled them into balls. I used a glass to press them flat and that was it. Super easy. No waste. Delicious! I do want to try those pretty stamps one day...


Made two batches of these. The best by far was the second, in which I ditched the extract and the orange entirely. I got all my citrus flavor from two Meyer lemons and the results were fabulous. (Zest from both. Juice from one :) The dough of this cookie is quite subdued, even with the extracts. But that makes a great base for the super sweet, citrus punch of the glaze. I do wish they were a bit more short. But I'm guessing that would interfere with the stamp-ability?


One of my favorite NYT recipes has now become a staple. These cookies are fantastic! The results are delicious, buttery citrus cookies that pair delightfully with a cup of tea. The dough is quite forgiving as long as you keep it chilled & a fun excuse for breaking out my cast iron cookie stamps. Making them for the 2nd year of Christmas cookie tins - back by very popular demand from family & friends!

Susan Lippman

This is a delicious recipe, but the author makes it so complicated! Making the stamped impressions is not only tedious but the dough is such that stamping it tears the dough and makes the recipe so labor intensive.You can actually roll out this cookie dough if you use a rolling pin with a cloth cover. Do not use a metal rolling pin. Roll very thin and cut out 2 inch circles. I cooked for about 7 minutes and got well over 30 cookies.I applied the glaze straight out of oven.


Lovely. Beautifully short texture. Went the parsimonious route and used the ridged end of a meat mallet. Glaze is tricky to get right, be wary of thin glaze absorbing and thick glaze hiding your imprint. Didn't bother with lemon extract, definitely read more orange. 7/10


Weigh the balls,Ideas so they ent stick:Chill!Flour the balls before stampingUse plastic wrap over balls and press - remove plastic

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Stamped Citrus Shortbread Recipe (2024)


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