Glazed Ginger Citrus Shortbread
Buttery shortbread, but make it zippy. Glazed Ginger Citrus Shortbread brings lemon and orange zest into the picture, making these cookies mouthwatering. Just mix, slice, and bake!
What are Slice-and-Bake Cookies?
Sometimes called icebox cookies or refrigerator cookies, these are the ultimate plan-ahead treats. They became popular in the 1930s when refrigerators became more widely available and women started to work outside the home.
Fresh homemade cookies any time you want? Not a problem if you had a premade cookie dough log in your refrigerator. It was easy and convenient to just slice and bake cookies for after-school treats or a quick dessert.
Along came Pillsbury. They stuffed cookie dough into a plastic tube and stocked it in grocery store refrigerator cases all over the nation. It’s what many people think of when they hear the term “slice and bake” cookies.
But! It is easy to have homemade slice-and-bake/icebox/refrigerator cookie dough in your fridge or freezer. You add whatever ingredients and flavors you like. The dough logs can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to three months.
Tips for Perfect Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Making slice-and-bake cookies is easy, I’ll admit. If you can stir together butter, sugar, egg, and flour, you can make these cookies. It is a simple recipe.
Here are a few helpful tips that I learned along the way.
- Decide what shape you want the finished cookies to be, then form the dough logs accordingly. Round, square, or triangular? Shape the logs before chilling them. Avoid a fat middle and tapered ends because the cookies will be different sizes once sliced.
- Wrap the dough log in parchment paper. If refrigerating for several days or freezing, place it inside a Ziploc bag to prevent the dough from absorbing other smells and protect it from freezer burn.
- To get perfectly cylindrical logs, allow the wrapped dough to sit inside something that will keep the edges from slumping over as the dough chills. An empty paper towel tube or empty stainless steel water bottle can serve as a nest for the dough log.
- Let the dough chill for several hours. We want the dough to be solid before slicing. Otherwise, the log will not hold its shape and the cookies will be wonky.
- Use a serrated knife and rotate the log a quarter turn after each slice. This helps keep the slices even and the log to maintain its shape.
Now, all you have to do is bake and enjoy!
- Rubbing the sugars and the zest together before incorporating them into the butter allows the zest to release the citrus oils. It makes the sugar more fragrant and zesty!
- Crystallized ginger can be difficult to dice. Use a sharp knife, pizza cutter, or kitchen shears to get it the size you want.
- Looking for a cookie with lime zest? I have one here.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ Tbsp lemon zest
- ½ Tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp crystallized ginger, diced small
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Crystallized ginger, diced small
- Additional lemon zest
- Make the dough by stirring the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, and salt. Rub in the zest with your fingers to release the citrus oils.
- Add the butter to a bowl or stand mixer bowl and beat on medium-low until creamy. Tip in the sugar mixture and beat together until combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour a cup at a time and beat on medium-low until it is incorporated. Sprinkle in the crystallized ginger and beat again until combined.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll one part into a log that is around 8 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter the entire length. Avoid a fat middle and thinner ends because your cookies won’t be the same size once you slice them. Repeat with the second part of the dough. Wrap the dough in parchment and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. If you are freezing the dough, also wrap it in plastic or place it in a Ziploc bag before placing it in the freezer. The dough will need to thaw before slicing and baking.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F/204C. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment or reuse the parchment in which the dough logs are wrapped.
- Cut one log into ¼-inch thick slices. If you are good at eyeballing it, great. Otherwise, use a ruler for the first few slices to see what ¼ inches looks like. Rotating the log a quarter turn each time you slice helps to keep the log cylindrical and the slices even.
- Place the slices 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 11-ish minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through the baking time. The edges should be just barely light brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack.
- Repeat with the second dough log.
- Make the glaze by placing the powdered sugar in a bowl. Tip in the lemon juice and whisk to incorporate. Add more lemon juice or water if needed. The glaze should be the consistency of honey or molasses.
- Place the rack of cookies over the parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any drips. Dip the tops of 3 or 4 cookies one by one into the glaze, either halfway or the entire top. Sprinkle with garnishes like chopped crystallized ginger or lemon zest before the glaze sets. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Store the cookies for up to one week at room temperature in a covered container.
Keywords: glazed ginger citrus shortbread