These easy-to-make, red, white and blue star-shaped cookies for the 4th of July are a sandy, crumbly shortbread cookie studded with dried cranberries, covered in a tart lemon glaze and topped with fun red, white, and blue stripes.
A fun change from a traditional cut out cookie. These melt-in-your mouth cookies are made with a shortbread cookie dough, and have a tart lemon flavor from the lemon zest in the cookie and a tart lemon glaze on top. I diced the dried cranberries before I added them to the dough, so it was easier to roll out and cut in to a fun star shapes.
My husband added the sprinkles (sanding sugar) to the cookies while I iced them. We tried adding the sprinkles in a variety of ways. I think the vertical stripes ended up being our favorite.
These cookies came together quickly and easily, and would be a perfect addition to any 4th of July party.
4th of July Lemon Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch and salt and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until well blended. Mix in the dried cranberries.
Shape the dough in to a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.
Preheat oven to 350º.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough in to desired shapes. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until lightly browned on the bottom about 10-12 minutes. Don’t over bake. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool.
Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thin glaze. Spread the icing on the cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles as desired.
And if you’re looking for a fun way to start the day on the 4th of July, try my popular 4th of July Muffins.