Suddenly the world looks a little brighter (maybe literally, right?), the rays warm your skin and it's as if Someone sprinkled you with a little dose of happiness.
Could you take that feeling, that experience, and put it in a cookie?
Why yes. Yes, you can.
Allow me to introduce you to what I've dubbed "Sunshine Cookies"- delectable, buttery shortbread infused with edible sunshine (also known as orange zest) and rolled in sparkles (also known as sugar).
These cookies are perfect for spring or summer gatherings or even on a dreary winter day when you're simply in need of some pseudo-sunshine to perk you up!
makes about 3 1/2 dozen
3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 2 large oranges
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar mixed with the zest of 1 additional orange (for rolling)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until just combined. Add vanilla and orange zest.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together (it will be very crumbly). Finish mixing with your hands if necessary.
Dump onto surface dusted lightly with flour and roll the dough into 2 logs about 2 in. in diameter. On a large plate or cookie sheet, sprinkle the combined 1/2 cup of sugar and zest of 1 orange. Roll each log in the sugar mixture and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 min.
Preheat oven to 350. Slice each log into 1/4 in. slices. Bake on parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheets for 12-15 min.- unti the edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Store, tightly covered, at room temp.