These delicious Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Cookies are buttery, sweet and loaded with blueberry flavor, with no rolling, cutting out or patting.
Know what one of my favorite things about blogging is? You might think it's coming up with delicious recipes like these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Cookies, and I do enjoy that. But really, that's not the best part. Nope, the thing I love the most is YOU!
Yes, this blog would be nothing without faithful, encouraging readers like you. I love that, through this blogging adventure, I've had the opportunity to make new friends - all over the world! It's so fun to open my computer and find a letter from someone I've never met before. Some are just one-time letters of query or comment, but lots of them are ongoing conversations. Over time, these conversations have developed into delightful relationships.
Early last spring I received a fun email from a Café follower from Canada. She introduced herself, shared how she'd discovered The Café and wrote some kind words of encouragement. Then she asked me for a favor:
This is an excerpt of what she wrote:
Why I am writing you today is that I need your help. I visited a friend a few months a following shoulder surgery. We stopped off at the Cinnamon Bear Café in Coleman, Alberta on the Crow’s Nest Pass on the way and there I picked up the most delicious Lemon Blueberry Cookies that I have ever tasted!!! My friend and I tried to recreate the recipe but couldn’t. When she was bringing me back to the airport, we stopped off there again and I picked up more of those cookies to try to figure out the recipe. I did ask the woman owner for it and the lovely woman stated that they were made with margarine and lemon peel and were primarily a shortbread cookie. So at home I made several more attempts to replicate the taste and amazing consistency, to no avail. So I am wondering if I asked you nicely, if you could ask her nicely and somehow obtain the recipe. I know it is wishful thinking on my part, but I have always been a bit of a dreamer and I thought I would ask.
I love dreamers. I also enjoy challenges like this. I couldn't ask the owner of the Café for the recipe, as she didn't have a website or email that I could find. I did however, within a few days, come up with a recipe for Lemon Blueberry Shortbread based on my New York Times Rosemary Shortbread. I used lemon peel (zest) like the Cinnamon Bear Café, but not margarine (never been a fan).
The cookies were delicious and I took them to our church small group with lots of rave reviews. I decided then and there that buttery, sweet shortbread, blueberries and lemon were a wonderful combination. But had no idea if my recipe was anything like my Canadian friend's beloved cookies and it seemed like I had no way of finding out.
Was I ever wrong! A couple of months later Scott came in from getting the mail with a little package postmarked, Canada. It was a lemon blueberry cookie for me to try - from The Cinnamon Bear Café! How fun! The cookie had traveled well and was accompanied by a sweet note. I immediately noticed it was a drop cookie rather than a classic shortbread which is rolled and cut into circles, squares, etc. or patted into a pan.
I poured a glass of cold milk and took a bite. The flavor was wonderful - lemony with bursts of blueberry and the texture was quite sturdy (it had traveled halfway across a continent!), yet light. Hmmm....
I tried several recipes without success before coming up with one (adapted from Allrecipes) that seems to be fairly close. At first, I had a bit of trouble making them look attractive (important for a food blog), but I found using the tiny wild dried blueberries (or chopping regular size dried blueberries) and scooping the dough with a cookie scoop helped a lot.
So I hope my Canadian friend doesn't have to travel all the way to The Cinnamon Bear Café when the craving for these delicious cookies comes over her. You too can whip up a batch of these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Cookies any time you want. Hey, you could even open your own little Café and sell them. Who knows? There might be someone from half a continent away begging you for the recipe...
LOTS OF PEOPLE ASK WHAT KIND OF COOKWARE, SMALL APPLIANCES, CUTLERY, ETC. I USE IN THE KITCHEN. HERE’S WHAT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.
- ⅔ cup dried blueberries*
- 1 tablespoon apple juice or water
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- finely grated zest from 2 small lemons
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup white sugar plus additional for sprinkling
Combine dried blueberries and apple juice or water in a microwave-safe cup or bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high or 45 seconds. Set aside to cool. Blueberries will absorb the juice (or water) and plump up a bit.
Preheat oven to 325˚F (150˚C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir well, then add cooled blueberries and lemon zest. Stir again, then set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy.
Slowly add the dry ingredients, mix until completely combined.
With a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop dough onto prepared sheet pans, 1 ½ inches apart. I use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop (size and number of cookies will depend on the size of your scoop). Sprinkle each cookie lightly with sugar and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
* I like to use the tiny dried wild blueberries for these cookies. If you can’t find them or want to use regular dried blueberries, coarsely chop them before adding to the flour mixture.
I use a 2 tablespoon size cookie scoop and get about 2 dozen cookies - size and number of cookies will depend on the size of your scoop.