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Lemon & Cranberry Shortbread


I know that some people may not understand this, but sometimes I think I like lemon more than chocolate.  It just has this crisp, citrus taste and the smell is heavenly.  This bar combines the best of both worlds:  lemon and shortbread.  And let's not forget the taste of dried cranberries  come on, just yummy.  I will definitely be posting lots more recipes with lemon in the future.

adapted from Good Housekeeping article





2 to 3 lemons
3/4 cup cold butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
grated lemon zest for garnish




Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a 13x9-inch cookie sheet with sides.















 
Grate lemon.  Make sure you grate it into a bowl or on waxed paper.  Set aside.














.



Squeeze the juice out of the lemons.  I like to squeeze lemon juice through a small colander to catch the seeds.  Set aside











Place butter, sugar, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 2 Tbs. lemon zest and 1 Tbs. lemon juice into a mixing bowl and blend until creamy.







Add flour and mix just until the dough comes together.  Add cranberries  until mixed into the dough.  Try not to overdo it because you don't want to cut up the cranberries too much.






Press the dough evenly into the pan using your fingers.  (I don't know about you, but I love to get my hands into things.  I love the feeling of dough.)









Bake 35-40 minutes or until the edges are brown and the top is just barely browned.  Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool.  I know it will be hard to wait until it is cool, but while it is cooling, make the glaze.

Glaze:

1 cup confectioner's sugar

1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Mix all ingredients until smooth.  You may have to add more sugar if it's too runny or lemon juice if it's too thick.  Or you could do what I do and add more juice because it's too thick, but then it's too runny so I have to add more sugar and so on and so forth until I might have triple the amount that I need.  The good thing about that is lemon glaze tastes great on sooo many things!






Spread over cooled shortbread. Sprinkle lemon zest all over the glaze. 












 
It will probably take around 30 minutes for the glaze to set.  Cut the shortbread into 36 bars.  If you store the bars in a tightly covered container, you can keep them for four days.  You can store them in the freezer for three months.

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INGREDIENTS

CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used dark)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. table salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels

C…