Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
40 mins. to 60 mins.
Baking time:
13 mins. to 15 mins.
Total time:
2 hrs 10 mins. to 3 hrs 20 mins.
4 dozen 3" cookies
These bright and colorful citrus cookies can be the hit of your summer party. Using citrus oils you can create lemon, lime, or orange cookies. Bake singly or stack together to make fun stripes. We especially love these cookies combined with vanilla ice cream to make festive ice cream sandwiches.
Volume Ounces Grams


to flavor the dough


  1. 1) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. 2) Beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until lightened in color and fluffy.
  3. 3) Add the flour and mix on medium speed until combined. The dough will be soft, but not sticky.
  4. 4) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Here's a good tip: flatten the dough with your hands to a disc about 1/2" thick, and it will chill quickly and evenly.
  5. 5) When the dough is well chilled, it will feel almost like fudge: firm, but easily molded. Divide the dough into three more or less equal portions. These will become your flavored doughs for shaping.
  6. 6) For each 1/3 of dough, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon citrus oil. If desired, add matching gel paste food coloring, such as lemon yellow.
  7. 7) Blend the dough briefly in the mixer, just until all the color and flavoring is combined. Repeat with the other portions of dough, using other colors and flavors.
  8. 8) If the dough has warmed up, chill it again briefly. To shape the stripes, roll each color of dough into a rectangle about 12" by 3" by 1/4" high. Cut each long rectangle in half so that you have 6 short rectangles.
  9. 9) Brush a little water on each piece of dough. Stack the dough, alternating colors, to create a tall striped rectangle. Wrap well and refrigerate for about 30 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
  10. 10) When the dough is well-chilled and firm, use a sharp chef's knife to cut it into 1/4"-thick slices. Place 2" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until firm when pressed, and the edges have begun to brown lightly.
  11. 11) Remove the cookies from the oven. Cool completely before serving. These cookies make very festive ice cream sandwiches, or fun dippers for a fruit-yogurt dip.
  12. Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.

Tips from our bakers

  • No fruit juice powder? Try adding 2 tablespoons freshly grated rind (zest). You may need to increase the amount of oil to get the same depth of flavor.
  • Don't waste those scraps of colored dough. Gently roll them together into a log, slice, and bake your own tie-dye citrus cookies. Totally rad!
  • Too hip to be square? Check out our blog on these cookies (linked about the directions). You'll see step by step photos on how to make stripes, bulls-eyes and tie-dye versions.
  • No misprint here, the recipe does NOT have an egg!