Lemon verbena shortbread

Lemon verbena shortbread.
Lemon verbena shortbread. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Shortbread requires a light touch. Don't be tempted to knead too much and you will be rewarded with a light, crumbly texture. For extra flavour, sprinkle with lemon-flavoured sugar before baking.


100g castor sugar

Half cup loosely packed fresh lemon verbena leaves

200g unsalted butter, softened

300g flour

pinch salt

1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest


Pulse sugar and lemon verbena leaves in a food processor until thoroughly combined and all the leaves are completely pulverised (any stringy bits of tougher leaves can be removed by hand).

Cream with butter until light and fluffy. Sieve flour with salt and mix together with creamed butter and lemon zest to make a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional).

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench to one-centimetre thickness, then cut into shapes with a biscuit cutter (note: this recipe makes 30 biscuits uaing a 4-centimetre round cutter).

Put on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden. Remove from oven and cool.