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Lemon Sugar Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tsps grated lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolk, lemon peel and vanilla. Add flour and salt and beat until mixture begins to clump together. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into disk; wrap each in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Soften dough slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

Position 1 oven rack in center and 1 oven rack in top third of oven and preheat to 375F. Roll out 1 dough disk at a time on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Using 2 1/2 inch to 2 3/4 inch diameter cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place cookies on baking sheet. Bake until firm and light golden, about 8 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets. Decorate. (Cookies can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.)

Yield: 30 Cookies (can be doubled or tripled)

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