Consider Adding Citrus Zest To Your Store-Bought Cookie Dough

Buying a batch of cookie dough may feel a bit like you're cutting corners in the world of baking, but it often promises a solid dessert option when time and energy are in short supply. In fact, you should look at store-bought cookie dough as the perfect opportunity to get creative without the hassle of reinventing the wheel. Like doctoring a box of cake mix, you can upgrade your cookie dough with very little effort. 

This tip is particularly true when you're working with a batch of sugar cookie dough. Buttery and accented with just a hint of vanilla, this variety works as the mild base for your tasty testing. One excellent way to supercharge your sugar cookies is by incorporating some citrus zest, be it lemon, lime, or orange. This simple bright addition adds a delightful floral note to your baked goods without compromising the texture. Still, there's a right way to go about adding this citrus twist to your dough.  

A citrus kick to sugar cookies

The main issue with incorporating new ingredients into your pre-made cookie dough is the risk of overworking the dough. If you're too rough with it, you'll activate too much gluten, making the baked cookie tough and dense. So the mix-ins need to be added in as gently as possible. The best way to do that is to roll your cookie dough balls into the zest right before baking, adding that kiss of citrus with as little pressure as possible. 

But let's take this hack one step further. After you've grated a tablespoon of lemon, lime, or orange zest, you'll add it to one cup of sugar. Adding orange zest to double chocolate chip cookies or brownie cookies would also be a delicious option. Then make sure to work the citrus zest into the sugar with your fingers, which will help mix the oils of the zest in with the sugar. From there, you'll roll your cookie dough balls into the citrus sugar and bake as directed. This simple trick will gift you with a cookie packing an extra dose of oomph, acting as a welcome change on the dessert tray.