Spring arrived and everything seems so bright and shiny. Warm days make me want to be outside and soak in every bit of beauty Mother Nature has to offer. I see sunlight sparkling on water as if it were precious gems. It all blossomed into inspiration for Sunshine Citrus Cookies. Bright citrus fruit on the inside is topped with glittering sugar for cookies perfect for the season.
Sunshine Citrus Cookies have a trio of flavors. Orange, lemon, and lime combine in such a lovely way. The cookies are buttery, crispy, and have a nice citrus brightness and tang. You can see orange, yellow, and green specks in them. Well, at least you can before you cover them with sanding sugar. I chose those same colors to reflect the flavors inside and to make them sparkly. A bowl of these cookies is like a bowl of sunshine.
Citrus flavor is concentrated in the rind. The thin outside layer holds more flavor than the juice. It is why many recipes call for adding zest. How to take it up one level? It is with a technique I discovered when making Tangerine Yogurt Cake. Rubbing zest into sugar is the secret. It releases oil from the zest. Try it one time and you will see. You’ll start using this method anytime you bake with citrus.
A note on the dough. It is quite soft after being mixed. Shaping it into logs is easy and thank goodness for the sturdiness of parchment. Covering the logs with it will help keep the round shape. However mine turned out semi-round. It’s okay though. I doubt anyone will complain if the cookies are not perfectly round. The dough does firm up nicely after chilling and slices easily.
Springtime is a wonderful time of year. This coming weekend Sunday Supper tastemakers will be celebrating with recipes inspired by the season. It’s a delicious time of year for sure. Oh, and for another citrus cookie, I made Lime Sugar Cookies for one of the previous spring Sunday Supper events.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Sanding sugar (orange, yellow, and/or green colored)
- Add sugar and orange, lemon, and lime zests to a small bowl. Use your fingers to rub zests into sugar.
- Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add citrus sugar and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, juices, and vanilla. Beat until combined.
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and beat until just combined.
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into an 8-inch log. Wrap logs in parchment paper. Chill logs thoroughly, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment or non-stick liner.
- Unwrap logs and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle sanding sugar on each slice.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
- Cool cookies 2 minutes on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.