5 Star Lemon Sugar Cookies
3 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 (3.4 Ounce) Package Instant Lemon Pudding Mix
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups White Sugar, Divided
½ Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Lemon Zest
1 ½ Cups Unsalted Butter, Melted
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Step 1 Whisk together flour, pudding mix, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl; set aside.
Step 2 Combine white sugar, brown sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to release oils of lemon zest into sugar, and until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add melted butter and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just combined (be sure not to overmix), about 20 seconds. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and mix for 2 more seconds.
Step 3 Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, up to overnight.
Step 4 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) with racks on upper and lower third of oven. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar on a shallow plate and set aside. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 5 Remove cookie dough from refrigerator and scoop with a spoon or ice-cream scoop into 2 1/2 ounce balls. Roll with hands to form an even ball and roll in sugar. Place about 1 1/2-inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Step 6 Place baking sheets on upper and lower racks and bake until cookies have spread, are starting to crackle on top, and are golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Remove and let cool slightly on baking sheets, about 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.