1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the lemon butter filling
1/2 cup white sugar
The zest of one lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
7 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or food processor to beat the butter and icing sugar until creamy.
Add the vanilla and mix well.
Pour in the flour and salt and beat until just combined. This will give you a bread crumb-like texture that will compress in your hands to form a dough.
Use the heat of your hands to press the dough crumbs into a dough ball. If the dough seems too crumbly to form a dough ball that holds its shape, or crumbles when you try to roll it out or change its shape, return the dough to the mixing bowl, crumble it again and add a teaspoon more butter. Beat through with the electric mixer and try to form the dough ball again.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and roll it out with a rolling pin.
Use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut a full star and place the star onto a greased baking tray. Cut a second star to pair the first with, only this time (while still in the cookie cutter) use a sharp pointed knife to cut out a smaller star from the middle. This will make the window half of the lemon star.
Bake the shortbread for 12-15 minutes, or until just cooked.
While the shortbreads are baking, make the lemon butter filling.
In a medium saucapan (not over the heat yet), place the lemon zest and sugar. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar to transfer the yellow colour and lemon flavour.
Add the juice, eggs, and butter.
Whisk over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until thickened and able to cover the back of a spoon.
Refrigerate while the shortbreads cool.
Remove the shortbread from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
To construct, layer a whole star with lemon butter, then place a windowed star on top.