I seriously need to stop with my orange obsession. I know it is getting old for you guys and I seem to be repeating myself when I say, “I love oranges!”
But, I do. We do so much at our home. So much so that every sweet goody I baked for the mister’s birthday earlier this month had citrus in it. I must simply stop asking him what he wants for his birthday. He is always going to say, “orange cake”. This time I went one step further and made cookies too. Orange ones, of course!
Cookies are so much fun to bake. I prefer the chunky drop cookies. Cut-out sugar cookies are a real test of my patience and I rarely bake them. Unless the kiddo specifically asks for these dark chocolate sugar cookies. And even the, I’d rather make it without any icing.
Thankfully, he shares his dad’s enthusiasm for orange cakes and cookies, so he helped me when I was testing out recipes for these cookies. I never knew juicing oranges could be so much fun.
The first couple of times, I made these cookies by replacing part of the butter with fresh orange juice so that the cookies will have a pronounced orange taste. The cookies were good, very soft, almost cloud-like, but teetered close to the cake category. I shared my exploits on my Instagram page and boy, were people enthusiastic about orange cookies!
So I knew I had to make it right. I mean, come on, they are like a burst of sunshine, aren’t they? Who wouldn’t like to bite into one? I bought orange extract and decided to play it safe the next time. I used a basic crinkle cookie recipe, added a touch of fresh orange juice and zest and of course, the orange extract took care of the rest. I added a few drops of food color to make it look like orange cookies, but you could omit if you don’t want to use it.
Crinkle cookies are so much fun to make. Roll little balls of dough, coat with powdered sugar and bake in a hot oven to get this fun crinkly texture. I turn on the oven light while baking to see how the cookie dough expands and the surface cracks to get this wrinkly texture. No two cookies are alike. I think it’s so cool! Some of the cookies will have bigger blobs of powdered sugar and some will be dainty and smallish. They all taste incredible though. The cookies taste fresh and light with wonderful notes of orange in them.
- All-purpose flour - 2 cups
- Baking powder - 2 tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Unsalted butter - 10 Tbsp, softened
- Sugar - 1 cup + 4 tbsp (for coating the formed cookie dough)
- Egg - 1, large
- Egg yolk - 1, large
- Orange zest - from one large orange
- Orange juice - 2 tbsp, freshly squeezed
- Orange extract - 1 tsp
- Vanilla extract - ½ tsp
- Orange gel food color - a few drops, optional (or use a combo of red and yellow colors)
- Powdered sugar - ½ cup, to coat the formed cookie dough
- Preheat oven to 350 deg.F. Line a couple of large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and 1 cup of sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix well.
- Add orange zest, orange juice, orange extract, vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add a few drops of food color if you want your cookies to be orange in color. Make sure to thoroughly blend in the color.
- Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix slowly just until combined. At this point, cover the mixing bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour. This will make handling the dough much easier while forming the cookies.
- Take ¼ cup granulated sugar and powdered sugar in two separate shallow bowls. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the dough and roll into neat balls in the palm of your hand. Roll the dough balls first lightly in granulated sugar and then in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet, 2" apart (cookies will spread when baking).
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-14 minutes or till edges are lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove cookies with a flat spatula on to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.
2. You can use the same recipe to make lemon or lime cookies. Use lemon or lime juice, zest and extract in place of orange and add yellow food color or a pinch of turmeric for color.
3. Sometimes, the powdered sugar coating will simply dissolve and bake right into the cookies. Rolling the dough in granulated sugar first helps keep the powdered sugar from disappearing into the cookies completely.
4. The prep time given here doesn't reflect dough chilling time, so plan your time accordingly.
The best way to eat these cookies are while they are fresh from the oven and still a bit soft. The cookies stay fresh for a few days if stored properly. We absolutely loved their bright orange flavor and I am sure you will too.
Wash these chewy orange cookies with a tall glass of milk. You simply cannot stop at one. I am sharing this recipe just in time for Easter, because I will probably be making some over the weekend. And you must too. How perfect will these be for your springtime Easter gathering?
Guys, I will still be sharing the orange cake I made for Mr.HappyandHarried’s birthday, but I will try to space it so that you do not get tired of my orange bakes. (Psst… by the way, it is a Swiss roll, so holler if you want to see the recipe earlier!)
Have you made orange cookies? Or crinkle ones? Got any recipes or experiences to share? I’d love to hear more.
Here are some of my orange themed desserts from ‘ze blog.
- Orange upside-down cake.
- Orange pound cake.
- Orange sponge cake with orange glaze. (This one is tied with vanilla cake and banana bread as my most often repeated bakes.)
- Fresh orange muffins.
- See this post for a no-bake vanilla-orange custard.
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