Shortbread cookies

These cookies require only four ingredients and are very easy to make. These are flavoured by lemon peel, but you can also use vanilla and other flavourings, including fruits, nuts or chocolate chips.

300g wheat flour, plus extra for rolling
200g butter/margarine, plus extra for greasing
100g sugar
1 medium-size lemon

1. Lightly grease and line the baking trays with parchment paper. If you do not have parchment paper, you can use brown paper, from paper bags or an empty packet of baking flour. Lightly grease the paper as well.
2. Wash and dry the lemon the previous day, so it is clean, dry and easy to grate. Grate only the green or yellow outer skin of the lemon on the smallest holes of the grater. Do not include the white part as it is very bitter. Put aside.
3. Mix together the butter/margarine and sugar using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, until pale and smooth. The butter/margarine is easier to mix if it’s at room temperature.
4. Sieve the flour and gently mix it into the butter and sugar mixture until it is fully incorporated.
5. Form the mixture into a ball of dough with your hands. Lightly dust a rolling pin and a clean, dry, flat working surface with a little flour. Roll the dough out to the thickness of about five millimetres. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters or the rim of a drinking glass.
6. Transfer to the lined baking tray and chill for about 20 minutes. Or roll the dough into a sausage shape about 3½ cm thick and chill until firm. Cut into rounds of five millimetres thickness with a sharp knife and place on the lined baking trays. Sprinkle each cookie with a little sugar.
7. Heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark three for about 15 minutes before baking.
Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool before serving.