Florida Citrus Adds Zest to Holiday Sugar Cookies

For a fresh, sunny twist on an old favorite, bake up a few batches of our delicious Zesty Florida Orange Sugar Cookies. Fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice is the secret ingredient that gives our Santa-approved sugar cookies their delightful zest.

Zesty Florida Orange Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Florida orange
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Using zester or knife, scrape skin of Florida orange to create 1 tablespoon of orange zest.
  2. Place butter, sugar, orange zest, eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed Florida orange juice from reserved orange. Beat 2 minutes on medium high until creamy.
  3. Add the baking powder and salt and mix briefly.
  4. Add the flour in 3 batches, mixing on low just until ingredients are combined; do not over mix.
  5. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls, roll in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Cookie sheets may also be lined with parchment paper.
  8. Use a flat-bottomed glass to flatten cookie balls into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Sprinkle lightly with green sugar crystals.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 6 to 10 minutes, checking periodically, until bottom of cookie is light brown.
  10. Using a spatula, remove cookies to wire racks and cool.

Makes 4 dozen cookies. When cool, store in an air-tight container.

Note: Dough can also be rolled into 1/8-inch thick sheets using a rolling pin and cut into holiday shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheet, decorate and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.

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