Lemon and Fleur de Sel Butter Cookies Recipe

This is a recipe I first made years ago for a Sunday afternoon tea with my parents and Maxence’s mother. I had clipped the recipe from the (now defunct) magazine Biba, and followed it pretty closely, apart from the glaze. The original recipe called for brushing the cookies with a beaten egg, and this sounded drab, so I used my mother’s perfect, sweet and tart lemon glaze instead.

The resulting cookie is crisp at the edges and a little crumbly in the center, with a nice lemon flavor made complex by the use of both juice and zest, and the hint of fleur de sel gives it a very nice tang.

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Lemon and Fleur de Sel Butter Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Makes about 40 cookies.

Lemon and Fleur de Sel Butter Cookies Recipe


    For the dough:
  • 175 grams (1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 75 grams (3/4) almond meal
  • 5 pinches fleur de sel
  • The zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 200 grams (7 ounces, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 egg white
  • The juice of half an organic lemon
  • For the glaze :
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Confectioner's sugar


  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, almond meal, fleur de sel, and lemon zest.
  2. Add the butter, and pulse again until the consistency of the dough becomes like breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the egg white and lemon juice, and mix again just until the dough comes together.
  4. Divide the dough in two, and roll out each half between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm (a bit under 1/6'').
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  7. Take one half of the dough out of the fridge and peel off the top sheet delicately. Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter, and place them on the cookie sheet, not too close to one another.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them, until golden. Transfer a rack to cool completely.
  9. Prepare the glaze. Pour 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you get a smooth and creamy consistency.
  10. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread a little glaze on the cookies. Allow to rest until the glaze is set.

This post was first published in January 2004 and updated in July 2016.

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