Chic Eats: Lemon Shortbread with Raspberry Basil Preserves

Chic Eats: Lemon Shortbread with Raspberry Basil
Give summer a stylish send-off with picnic-perfect fare. Our Chic Chef shows you how to add flare to your spread with Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Raspberry Basil Preserves.

090610RECIPE.jpgShake out the checkered table cloths, fire up the grill, and start pattying the hamburgers. Labor Day has arrived, and it's time to celebrate one of the biggest picnic days of the year with your favorite outdoor dishes. But amid the potato salad, hotdogs and hamburgers, don't let dessert fall to the wayside. Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies make a wonderful addition to any picnic spread. Perfect for any picnic table, these cookies are also delicious served at a casual dinner party with a glass of Champagne.


Raspberries are still in season, and I have two very healthy basil plants in my herb garden, so I decided to celebrate the last few days of summer with a recipe full of bright, summery flavors.


For our Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies, golden brown shortbread cookies get a flavor lift with fresh lemon zest and a touch of fresh lemon juice. The zest imparts a robust lemon flavor while the juice lends a hint of tartness to the cookies. It may sound surprising, but basil works very well in sweet applications and is especially delicious when paired with berries and citrus. Add the basil after the preserves have cooled to maintain the fresh flavor of the basil. Crushed fresh raspberries stirred into jarred raspberry preserves enhance the berry flavor. Heating the preserves evaporates some the water giving it a slightly sticky consistency perfect for holding the shortbread cookies together without dripping.


Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Basil Preserves


For the Lemon Shortbread Cookies




  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • turbinado (raw) sugar, for sprinkling




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until completely mixed and creamy. Begin on low speed, then increase to medium.
  • Add vanilla, lemon juice and salt and mix just until incorporated.
  • Add the flour and mix until dough forms. On a floured surface, form into a flat disk and wrap with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using a round fluted cookie cutter.
  • Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until light golden brown (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Cool completely.
  • Spoon 1 teaspoon preserves onto half of the cookies. Place a plain cookie on top and press lightly.


For the Raspberry Basil Preserves




  • 1 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries, crushed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped




  • Place preserves and crushed raspberries in a small saucepan.
  • Boil the mixture until slightly reduced and thickened, about three to four minutes.
  • Cool the mixture until just warm, then stir in basil.

Photo courtesy of VendiRei Jones
VendiRei Jones -

VendiRei Jones is the chef/owner of Torta, a licensed home bakery specializing in sweet and savory tarts. E-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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