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Citrus Sugar Cookies

  • Yield: Makes 40 3-inch cookies
Citrus Sugar Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, December 2009


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for working
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for decorating (optional)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Royal Icing, and desired decorations, such as colored sugars


  1. In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add sugar, eggs, and lemon zest and process until mixture resembles wet sand.

  2. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface; knead several times until dough comes together. Divide into 3 portions; flatten each into a disk. Roll each disk to an 1/8-inch thickness between sheets of parchment. Stack dough (still in parchment) on a baking sheet; refrigerate 20 minutes. (To store, wrap in plastic and freeze on sheet, up to 2 weeks. Thaw until pliable before using.)

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in middle and lower thirds. Working with 1 dough sheet at a time, peel off parchment (save for baking). With lightly floured cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and arrange, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets (reroll scraps, if desired). Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

  4. Bake until cookies are set but still pale, 7 to 9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Using a spoon, frost cookies with icing; decorate with sugar, if desired.

Cook's Note

You can sprinkle the cookies with sugar before baking or decorate with icing and sugar after baking. To make ornaments, poke holes with a straw before baking.


Reviews (3)

  • pollianna 10 Dec, 2011

    There is a typo in this recipe. It should say 1 3/4 cups sugar. These are great cookies.

  • coastalcook 10 Jul, 2011

    These were pretty bad cookies. The dough was dry and not sweet enough. When I baked them, the edges did brown, but they just got very hard and didn't have nearly enough flavor. Very bland. I will not make again.

  • melissalamode 13 Dec, 2010

    Wonderful recipe! it was a great crowd pleaser. Tender, moist and one of my favorites.

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