After years of fighting with fussy, crumbly, sticky sugar cookie doughs, I finally found one that is a joy to work with. I wish I could tell you where it came from, but I have been making it for so many years that I just can't recall. I do know that it did not originally call for lemon zest or juice, those are modifications I made to the dough and icing because I love lemon anything; it adds just a hint of lemon flavor to the cookie without being overpowering or alienating the refined taste buds of small children.
What I like most about this dough, aside from the flavor, is that it is easy to work with; no refrigeration is required, there is no sticking to the rolling pin, cookie cutters or work surface and there is no risk of tough-textured cookies from overworked dough. I hope you'll give it a try with your family and enjoy making them together as much as our family does.
Stir in flour mixture one third at a time to make a stiff dough. (If you can get a little witch in a chicken apron to help with this step, all the better.)
Don't be alarmed that the dough looks crumbly at this point- it should. The beauty of this dough is that it comes together due to the warmth of your hands, kneading it briefly until it just comes together.
To make leaf variegation in the icing, ice one cookie at a time, then dip a toothpick in a different colored frosting & drag the toothpick through the wet base color on the cookie.
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