Friday, December 17, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Lemon Zest

In years past, we used sugar cookie recipes with adorable cookie cutters of stars, candy canes, ornaments, and Christmas trees that always went into the oven delightful and came out these ambiguous blobs with holiday sprinkles. They weren’t pretty, but they were admittedly delicious with a tall glass of milk.

This year, we were determined to get it right. We simplified – partially out of determination, partially because we couldn’t find our cookie cutters. And through that simplification, we discovered a new recipe that is sure to last for years and years to come.

How gorgeous are these cookies?
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar plus additional sugar for topping
2/3 cups vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Add sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients, and again, mix thoroughly. Chill this mix in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes or more.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare sugar plate for sugar topping.
After 30 minutes, scoop out cookie dough with teaspoons, and form into small balls. Drop balls onto cookie sheet roughly 2 inches apart.
Wet the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass under faucet, and dip glass bottom into sugar plate. Sugar should stick to the glass. Stamp cookie on cookie sheet, pressing down slightly, giving it a sugar topping. Repeat process for all cookies: wetting the glass, placing it in sugar, and stamping dough.
Bake cookies until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Just like our Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, the smaller the balls you make, the better these seemed to turn out.

Happy baking!


(Click here for printable recipe)

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