You can’t have Christmas without cookies and other treats. Since Meg had to work the days leading up to Christmas while I was off, I decided it was time to do some compulsive baking.
From time immemorial, men in my family have been unable to resist the Orange Cookie – a moist spongy orange-flavored cookie topped with a sweet orange glaze. Once we start eating them, its unlikely that we’ll stop until they’re gone. The things we’d do for these cookies…flip off a kitten, steal from a baby, betray our country…these are cookies that should only be used for good, and not for evil.
I was a little bit skeptical about trying to make a light fluffy cookie with gluten-free flour, but the craving for orange cookies (and the desire to share them with my wife) will not be denied.
I didn’t have the “family recipe” for orange cookies, so I turned to this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. I highly recommend using fresh squeezed orange juice for this. Nobody should drink hideous reconstituted grocery story orange juice anyway.
For the Cookies
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs. orange zest — about 1 orange worth of zest
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbs. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 egg
The best advice from the original recipe is to rub the orange zest into the sugar so the flavorful oils from the zest infuse into the sugar.
Heat the oven to 350º. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter and zest-infused sugar together, then add the egg and orange juice. Mix in the dry ingredients.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lay out ~1½” balls of dough about 2″ apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until starting to lightly brown around the edges. I like to swap and rotate the cookie sheets halfway through.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wax paper-lined cooling rack. The wax paper will keep the glaze from making a mess later.
For the Glaze
- 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tbs. orange zest
- ~4 Tbs. fresh orange juice
Work the zest into the powdered sugar with a fork or your fingers. Whisk the orange juice in one tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches a consistency where it is thin enough to spread, but not so thin that it was runny — for me, I think this was about 4 tablespoons.
Once the cookies have completely cooled, use a silicone brush to apply the glaze
When storing the cookies, separate layers with wax paper to keep the cookies from sticking to one another.