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Pink Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

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Pink Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Pink Grapefruit Sugar Cookies give a fresh and delicious twist to the old sugar cookie standby. These could be topped with pink frosting, to suggest the grapefruit flavor, or decorated for Christmas with white frosting and red and green sprinkles.

We’re still all cookies, all the time. And we’re still searching for new favorite recipes to add to our gifting (and eating) repertoires. 

The newest addition: Pink Grapefruit Sugar Cookies from Jesse Szewczyk’s new cookbook Cookies: The New Classics, published this fall. The book is divided into chapters: Chocolaty, Boozy, Fruity, Smoky, and Savory. Fruity Pink Grapefruit Sugar Cookies are very now, making use of winter’s citrus and fulfilling our sugarplum dreams.

What’s special about these cookies is twofold. First, they give a fresh and delicious twist to the old sugar cookie standby. Grapefruit zest brightens the whole thing up. Secondly, this recipe is a fantastic homemade version of the super-soft frosted cookies we love to hate (hate to love?) at the grocery store bakery. Only better.

You might want to color the frosting in these cookies pink, to suggest the grapefruit flavor within. We decided to keep things simple (and keep the red dye out of the mix) and stick with white frosting topped with Christmassy sprinkles. Really, you can’t go wrong.

Note: The grapefruit flavor in these cookies is very subtle. You might want to add extra zest if you’re looking for a little more twang. Or, you might choose to leave the zest out altogether. This sugar cookie base is stellar on its own.

Pink Grapefruit Sugar Cookies
From Jesse Szewczyk’s Cookies: The New Classics, adapted by Bon Appetit

2 ¾ cups flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit zest
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 large egg
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:
4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat it to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the grapefruit zest, sugar, and butter, in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat to incorporate, about 2 minutes (the mixture might look curdled, that is okay). Reduce the speed to low and beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Scoop out 2-tablespoon portions of dough and roll into balls. Divide between 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 3 inches apart. Gently flatten the cookies to about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Bake, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until the edges are light golden but tops are still pale, 11 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cookies can be baked 5 days ahead; store airtight at room temperature.

For the frosting: Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the powdered sugar, cream, butter, grapefruit zest, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie; use a spoon or offset spatula to create swirls. Decorate with sprinkles.

Editor's note: Find more holiday cookie recipes here.

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