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.