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Citrus Sugar Cookies


Tried many sugar cookies and failed. This one is perfection and won't let you down, a great crowd pleaser. Tender, moist and one of my favorites!

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (15 Votes)


  • 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 lemon zest, finely grated
  • Royal Icing, and desired decorations, such as colored sugars


Servings 40
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 120mins


Step 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.

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.)

Preheat oven to 375°F, 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 (re-roll scraps, if desired). Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

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.

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