Citrus Dessert Shortbread

Meyer Lemon and Dark Chocolate Shortbread

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Meyer Lemon and Dark Chocolate Shortbread ~ it seems to me that while all of us have our favorite flavors, it’s when different tastes combine that they really become the stuff of obsession.  Like silky dark chocolate and tangy lemon.  That combo’s been haunting me for years.

I’ve been reading a lot about flavor combinations lately. I found the Flavor Map the other day and I’m still trying to figure it out.  Then I read the McCormick Flavor Forecast for 2012 ~ they’re forecasting Grapefruit with Red Pepper, and Blueberry with Cardamom as some of the trends going into 2012.  The theme of intense flavors in unusual pairings is such a defining theme in the food of our era.  Have you seen the ads for ‘water enhancers‘?  Those little pouches of artificial dye and flavor that you carry in your pocket to pump up your water wherever you go?

The traditional pleasure of plain shortbread is in its unusually subtle flavor—you can actually taste the flour!  But that means it’s also the perfect canvas for showcasing other flavors.  It can be amped up in countless ways.

Today, I’m going for the puckeringly sweet/tang of Meyer lemon with the silky richness of deep dark chocolate.   I could have rolled this dough into a log and sliced it into cookies, but I’m craving the squares.  Maybe it’s because you get a little more with a square.

Are you feeling it yet?

My only dilemma was whether to glaze or not to glaze.  I really wanted to taste the lemon, so I took a whiff of the cooling shortbread after it came out of the oven and decided to go for the glaze.  To get the full effect of the dark chocolate and lemon combo you need to get that pucker at the back of your mouth.

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3.77 from 13 votes

Meyer Lemon and Dark Chocolate Shortbread


  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut in pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • juice 3 Tbsp and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips


  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • lemon juice to thin I used 1 1/2 lemons


  • Set oven to 325F
  • Line an 8x8 square baking pan with foil for easy removal and slicing.
  • Put the flour and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and drop in the butter.
  • Mix just until the butter has incorportated into the flour and sugar and the mixture has a coarse crumb texture.
  • While mixing, add the lemon juice and zest and mix until the dough just comes together.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon or your hands.
  • Press the dough into your pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until slightly puffed and slightly golden (not brown!) The edges will look a little more cooked than the center and the top will be just firm when lightly touched.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing the foil lining.
  • Mix together the confectioner's sugar with enough lemon juice to thin it to a glaze consistency. Drizzle or spread over the cooled shortbread.
  • When the glaze has firmed up, slice into squares.




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  • Reply
    December 22, 2016 at 11:41 am

    This was fantastic! The perfect ratio of flour, butter, and sugar. The tang of lemon and depth of dark chocolate. Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      It’s been ages since I’ve made this, Gretchen, but your description makes me crave it now!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2013 at 11:43 am


  • Reply
    elaine x
    December 17, 2012 at 1:31 am

    I used cacao nibs in this recipe and that turned out great. I also used white chocolate, and that turned out excellent. Thanks for the wonderful blog!

  • Reply
    Rolling Pin Claire
    January 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Why did I have to find this recipe, why oh why? Now I’m going to have to make this amazing shortbread. So much for a healthier 2012!!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    i’ve seen just about every fruit out there paired with chocolate at some point EXCEPT lemon. bravo!

  • Reply
    Rosita Vargas
    January 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Espectacular me encanta muy bien preparado,luce hermoso,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 10:39 am

    yes yes yes!! i love all your shortbreads!! Meyer lemons are so hard to find over here…

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      It’s always interesting to hear which foods are not available in what places. Maybe there’s not a demand for them? You can use any old lemon, and sometimes a real lemon has more lemony kick to it anyway, since the Meyer is so sweet. I mostly buy them because they’re so pretty!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    my mouth is watering…what an interesting combination and I know i always say this…but your photography is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    January 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    This is a combination that I would NEVER have thought to marry! It looks sensational, and I’ll bet a cup of tea would be the perfect accompaniment with a piece! Especially on one of these nasty cold days!

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    January 14, 2012 at 4:02 am

    These look sooo good! The combo of chocolate and lemon is such a trip on the tongue … that tangy and sweet are killer!

  • Reply
    Words Of Deliciousness
    January 14, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I like the combination of the lemon and the dark chocolate. The pictures are lovely.

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson Ditch
    January 14, 2012 at 3:47 am

    This is the third Meyer lemon recipe I’ve seen in the past couple of days. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I saw those flavor combos on Mary’s blog and was so intrigued. I love the lemon and salty chocolate – it’s a sweet, a salt and a pucker! Perfect!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 1:56 am

    This looks so tasty and delicious! I love the chocolate bits!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 1:14 am

    This really looks delightful. I love the flavor play here and I really have to try this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    January 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Your shortbread sounds like perfection. I’m fascinated by the water enhancers, they are not here yet, so I must have a look! Jude x

  • Reply
    January 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Oh my gosh, you described this perfectly! I might need to make a lemon chocolate combo sooner than later now. Definitely glazed. If in doubt, a glaze is always the answer. 😉

  • Reply
    Heather @
    January 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    This sounds SO delicious. I’m just a sucker for any lemon desserty-thing, though.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    January 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    The shortbread looks delicious and your photos are wonderful!

  • Reply
    once in a blue moon
    January 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    i’m feeling it… with your pics i am tasting it too~

  • Reply
    January 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Lemon, dark chocolate and shortbread sounds like a tantalizing combination for the tastebuds. I’m not sure of McCormick’s forecast of grapefruit with red pepper? But, who knows, it could be the next thing!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    For me it’s orange and chocolate that’s the best, but this looks super super delicious. And I think you made the right choice about the lemon glaze–always a good way to get that pucker!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      I’ll have to try the orange and chocolate next time…I think we can safely say that anything plus chocolate is a winner.