Makes 3 to 4 dozen sugar cookies
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup natural (raw) cane sugar*
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. pre-ground cardamom or 2 to 3 Tbsp. freshly ground cardamom seed**
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon or orange zest (about 1 large lemon or small orange), freshly grated, optional
- Decorating Icing:
- 6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. lime, orange or lemon juice, at room temperature
- Additional colored sanding sugar, optional, for decorating
- *Use large, granular-type cane sugars; in particular, large crystal Turbinado sugar or Demerara..
- **Cardamom can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores.
1. In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugar; cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Add flour, cardamom, salt and zest; blend until dough is evenly mixed. Adjust cardamom to taste.
2. Divide dough in four balls on sheets of plastic wrap, and flatten each into a disk. Wrap tightly, and chill for at least 1 hr. or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or butter them.
4. Take 1 ball of dough from refrigerator. (Keep remaining dough chilled.) On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/8- to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into shapes and place on prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake until bottoms just begin to brown, 8 to 10 min. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Continue to roll, cut and bake remaining dough.
6. For the icing, combine butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat at low speed, gradually adding juice to reach desired consistency. Decorate completely cooled cookies as desired.
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