These melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites are crisp, buttery and super delicious. Baked in a mini muffin pan, they always come out perfectly round and are excellent for gifting with the free printable labels.
If you've surmised that I have "a thing" about the lemon-blueberry flavor combination, you're right! It's a fabulous pairing in both sweet (like these Lemon Blueberry Scones or these Bakery Style Lemon Blueberry Muffins ) and savory recipes (like this Blueberry Arugula Salad with Honey Mustard Lemon Dressing). These Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites are another delicious example to add to our growing collection!
If you've baked with blueberries you might think that there's a little conundrum here. Blueberries are sweet and juicy and add lots of delicious moisture to baked goods. On the other hand, shortbread is supposed to have a crisp, sandy texture. The two don't seem to pair very well together, but we've solved that problem by using dried blueberries in this Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites recipe.
The dried berries are plumped a bit by placing them in the microwave for 45 seconds with a bit of water or juice, resulting in soft, tender berries but, unlike their fresh cousins, they don't exude extra moisture into the shortbread dough. Problem solved!
I love that these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites are shatteringly crisp and crunchy. But therein lies a small problem... if you're trying a sneak one or two, good luck! They do shatter in your mouth with the first bite, which is a great thing. However, if you're trying to enjoy one or two, on the sly, your mother (or husband, wife, brother, sister... whoever!) will be sure to notice a little trail of crumbs.
We call these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites "ridiculously easy" because they truly are! They require just one bowl (no mixer needed) and the dough comes together in a flash. I made a batch this morning and the shortbread was ready for the oven in right around 15 minutes.
Another reason for the name is that, being super easy to make, this recipe is the latest addition to our collection of recipes that we call "Ridiculously Easy". You can read more about this compilation of recipes in this post but my brief definition of our Ridiculously Easy recipes is "Recipes that make you look like a kitchen rock star with minimal effort on your part". Our readers love these recipes and so do we!
The easy way to make perfectly round cookies
If you ever struggle with making attractive, consistently round cookies, this Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites recipe might just become your best friend! The dough is scooped into 24 portions and each one is placed in a mini muffin pan resulting in a whole batch of perfectly round cookies.
Make a friend!
Speaking of making friends, a little box, plate or bag of these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites is a great way to start or grow a friendship! We've created a PDF for a pretty little label to adorn your gifts. If you'd like these free, printable labels, simply leave us a comment in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
We'll email you the PDFs for the labels along with instructions on how to use them and links for the boxes and ribbon pictured in this post.
Put these Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites on your must-make baking list sometime soon. Your kitchen will be filled with a heavenly aroma, and your family and friends' hearts will be filled with gratitude. Only you and I need to know that these delicious cookies are RIDICULOUSLY EASY!
Café Tips for making these Ridiculously Easy Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites
- Because this recipe doesn't require a mixer, the butter needs to be nice and soft. You can let the butter sit out at room temperature, but if the air is chilly in your house, it won’t get soft enough. Here are some easy ways to soften butter:
- You can soften the butter in the microwave at 10% power level. It works like magic! You’ll need to experiment a bit with your microwave though, as they’re all different. Start with 1 minute. Add 20 to 30-second increments until you learn how long your microwave will take to get the butter nice and soft, but not melted.
- Another technique I often use to soften butter is to put it in the microwave for a few hours with the light on. To keep the light on in the microwave I put a folded paper towel in the door.
- Boil a cup of water in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and get things nice and steamy. Leave the water cup in the microwave, add the butter and close the door. The warmth from the steamy water will help to quickly soften the butter.
- Cutting the butter into small pieces helps it soften quicker.
- Place the hard butter on a small plate. Fill a bowl with hot water. Wait 5 minutes then discard the water. Put the warm bowl over the butter.
- Put the butter in the oven with just the oven light turned on. This will take a few hours.
- The fastest way to soften butter is to put cold butter in the microwave for 10 seconds. Turn it to the opposite side and microwave for another 10 seconds. It might be ready at this point, but if it’s not entirely soft, add one or two more 5-second stints.
- This Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Bites recipe calls for dried blueberries. You can find dried blueberries at most larger grocery stores in the same area where you find raisins and other dried fruit. Costco carries them for a reasonable price and dried blueberries are available online.
- Be sure to spray the mini muffin pan(s) well with baking or non-stick cooking spray to ensure easy removal.
- I like to sprinkle my cookies with cane sugar which is a bit coarser than traditional granulated sugar, has a little shimmer and adds a bit of crunch. You could also use Turbinado or Demerara sugars which are even more coarse or you can use regular granulated sugar.
- I like to flatten the tops of these cookies (with a flat-bottom glass or the bottom of a small metal measuring cup) when they emerge from the oven and sprinkle them with a bit more sugar, but that's totally optional.
- If you don't have any lemons and you happen to have lemon extract, that will also work. Just substitute a teaspoon of lemon extract for the lemon zest.
Thought for the day:
For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you,
“Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- ⅔ cup dried blueberries
- 1 tablespoon apple juice orange juice or water
- 1 cup very soft butter
- ½ cup white sugar plus additional for sprinkling
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- finely grated zest from 1 medium-size lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
Combine dried blueberries and apple juice or water in a microwave-safe cup or bowl. Stir to coat. Cover the bowl or cup with a damp paper towel and microwave on high or 45 seconds. Stir again and set aside to cool while you make the dough.
Preheat oven to 350˚F (177˚C). Spray two 12-cup mini muffin pans (or 1 24-cup mini muffin pan) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine butter, sugars, lemon zest, vanilla and salt in a medium-size bowl and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon well until smooth and creamy.
Add the flour and cornstach and stir from the bottom up until completely incorporated. The dough will be a little crumbly but make sure there is no dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.
Drain off any excess liquid from the plumped blueberries then turn them out onto several thicknesses of paper toweling. Pat well to remove any extra moisture.
Add the blueberries to the dough and stir gently to evenly incorporate.
Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon scoop up the dough into 24 portions. Each one should be approximately 1 tablespoon or right around 30g. Place the scoops of dough in the cups of the prepared pan and flatten with your hand. The dough will pretty much fill the cups. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake until the tops are gold brown, about 12-15 minutes.
At this point, you can leave the shortbread bites just as they are or flatten the tops with the bottom of a small glass or metal measuring cup and sprinkle with a bit more sugar. Allow the cookies to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then use a thin-bladed, small sharp knife along one edge to gently remove the cookies to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely than store in an airtight container. These cookies also freeze well!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.