Citrus Zested Sugar Cookies

by FoodBabbles on February 5, 2011

A few months ago my mother, sister and grandmother came for a visit to attend my little brother’s wedding… well, he’s 30 and 6’3″, not so little but he’s still younger than me.

But back to the point… My grandmother brought with her these fresh little lemon cookies. They were divine! Simple, lemony sugar cookies that no one could stop eating. It’s a good thing she brought us quite a few. After a few days of grazing on more than my fair share and loving these cookies she divulged that all she had done was take a dry sugar cookie mix and added lemon zest. Genius! There’s nothing quite like the simplicity of a soft, sugar cookie but the addition of bright lemon took this wonderful cookie to a whole new level.

So, last week I wanted something quick and easy to satisfy my sweet tooth. As I thought about what I could create, I found myself reflecting on those delightful cookies so I set about making my own batch (from scratch, of course). My first attempt fell a little flat. I found my cookies too buttery and too crisp. I wasn’t happy with the result and my sweet tooth went unsatisfied. However, this week I went back to the drawing board. I couldn’t be happier with the results!

The cookies have slightly crisp edges but are soft and chewy on the inside. Next, they have a slight burst of citrus. I made half of the batch with lemon zest while I made the other half with orange zest. This should come as no surprise given my love of orange anything… Exhibit A and Exhibit B. Hmmm… I wonder what would happen if I throw lime zest in there next time? Who knows, maybe a fresh new creation will be born. In the meantime, give these a try. They’re delicate and delicious while the addition of lemon or orange zest adds a refreshing burst of flavor.

Citrus Zested Sugar Cookies

Yields about 4 dozen

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tbsp orange or lemon zest

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

– In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy.

– Next, beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla.

– In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda. Add the orange or lemon zest.

– Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and stir to incorporate.

– Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll them in sugar.

– Place them on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden.

– Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

– Enjoy!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

your mom February 5, 2011 at 8:17 am

yes, yes! super yummy. Would go great with the coffee I’m drinking right now 🙂


MommaD February 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

I love these cookies ! Sweet but not super sweet just what a cookie should be 🙂


Nana February 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

How nice of you, Kate. I’m flattered! Go ahead and bake from scratch, if you must, but I’m sticking to the dry Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie and adding whatever inspires me. Hadn’t thought of lime zest–now those would be a taste sensation!


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