Citrus Sugar Cookies

citrus sugar

Sugar cookies aren’t high on my list…they just never have been until now.  I find them to be, quite frankly, boring!  However, add some citrus juice and zest and you have a sugar cookie that won me over.  According to The Oxford Companion to Food, the American habit of making up rolls of cookie dough and keeping them in the refrigerator or freezer may have come from Germany; the doughs for some German biscuits were chilled before slicing.  Pieces are sliced off ad baked as required – often known as ‘icebox’ cookies.  In Scotland, the term ‘cookie’ has been in use since 1700.

Makes 25 cookies
adapted from Chef Megan Garrelts

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
1 large egg

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lime juice and zest. Scrape down the sides, then beat in the egg.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in thirds, scraping the bowl down after each addition. Continue mixing until a loose dough forms, about 1 minute.  Shape the dough into a log and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

cookie dough

Preheat oven to 375f.  Remove cookie dough from fridge and cut into 1/4-inch slices.  Place 1-inch apart on a baking sheet and bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.  Remove and place cookies on a cooling rack.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Hints of citrus carry this humble cookie to new heights.  If the cookie dough gets too warm, place it back into the the fridge for 20 minutes.  Chilling the dough will make slicing easier. Enjoy!