Lemon Butter Curls


Lemon Butter Curls

Lemon Butter Curls

These lemon butter shortbreads balance delicacy and resilience, making them ideal for a laid-back afternoon treat or a relaxed holiday cookie option. Combining butter, egg yolks, and a touch of cornstarch ensures a texture that melts in your mouth. Adding lemon zest brings a vibrant touch, while a delicate glaze made from lemon juice and powdered sugar provides a tart finishing touch.
You can shape these into curls as demonstrated or use your creativity to pipe them into various forms, such as rings, playful squiggles, or by pushing the dough through a cookie press. You can manually roll and shape the dough if preferred instead of piping or pressing techniques.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings 36 cookies


For the Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup (225 grams) of softened salted butter
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) of granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups (255 grams) of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of heavy cream

For the Glaze:

  • 3 cups (306 grams) of sifted powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Optional: Sanding sugar for sprinkling


  • Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place a wire rack inside a third sheet.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium speed until they turn light and fluffy, which should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the bowl and paddle as needed. Add the egg yolks and zest the lemon directly into the bowl. Mix slowly until the yolks are fully incorporated, then scrape down the bowl again.
  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the entire flour mixture to the butter mixture all at once. Mix on low speed until they are just combined. Pour in the heavy cream and continue mixing until the mixture forms a dough, typically taking around 30 seconds.
  • Prepare a sturdy piping bag with a star tip, ideally with an opening of ¼ to ½ inch, and fill it with enough dough to fit in your hand comfortably. You can always refill the bag when you run out of dough. Pipe the dough into S-shaped hooks, each approximately 2 inches long, onto the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Be sure to leave at least 1 inch of space between each hook. If the dough feels soft, place the baking sheet with the piped cookies in the refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 1 hour to chill before baking.
  • Bake the cookies until they acquire a lovely golden brown color at the edges, turning them halfway through baking. This should take approximately 14 to 16 minutes. Once out of the oven, allow the cookies to set on the baking sheet for about 6 minutes. Afterwards, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are in the oven, prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice at a time. Add lemon juice until the glaze flows smoothly off the spoon when lifted.
  • After the cookies have cooled completely, use a spoon to drizzle enough glaze over the cookies to cover their surface and run down the sides. If you're using sanding sugar, wait for the glaze to set slightly before sprinkling it on. Allow the glaze to set completely, which typically takes at least 30 minutes, before serving. You can store the baked and glazed cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.