Christmas cookie palooza: Orange butter cookies, two ways.

Do you love chocolate and orange together? Know those “whack and unwrap” chocolate oranges that are so fun to get in your Christmas stocking?

That’s the inspiration behind this recipe for Orange Butter Cookies, Two Ways.

Way No. 1 is the straight-up version of a recipe I found in my Grandma Dorothy’s “Kitchen Klips” file of vintage recipes. The original, clipped from a package of Land ‘o Lakes butter, calls for lemon flavoring. But I love orange at this time of year: Oranges are in season now, and I associate orange with Christmas thanks, in part, to Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” Capote writes of opening gifts with his extended and distant family on Christmas morning: “My friend has a better haul. A sack of Satsumas, that’s her best present.”

Traveling in South Carolina recently, Rob and I found a sack of Satsumas at a farmers’ market, the juice and peel of which went into my Orange Butter Cookies.

And then it hit me, this chocolate-and-orange idea: What if I added chocolate kisses to these orange butter cookies, a la Peanut Butter Blossoms?

Blammo (as Rob would say).

So here you go: The last installment of 2017’s edition of Christmas Cooke Palooza: Grandma’s Frosted Lemon Cookie recipe reimagined with orange flavoring and chocolate. Make ’em either way!

And happy holidays to you!

orange Kiss cookies and Glazed Orange Cookies

makes about 5 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For finishing: unwrapped Hershey's chocolate kisses
For the glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar whisked with 2–3 tablespoons orange juice, orange sparkling sugar

Preheat oven to 400°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), combine the sugar and orange zest; use your fingers to work the mixture until it is damp and fragrant. Add butter, and cream together butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and stir to combine then stir in orange juice and zest. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking powder and salt and stir to combine thoroughly. Use a small cookie scoop or two teaspoons to portion out roughly 1-inch balls of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake until just barely beginning to brown on the edges, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking time.

For Orange Kiss Cookies: Place a Hershey's kiss in the center of each cookie; return to the oven for 1 minute to soften the chocolate.

For Glazed Orange Cookies: Spread a bit of glaze over each cookie while still warm and immediately sprinkle with orange sugar.


2 thoughts on “Christmas cookie palooza: Orange butter cookies, two ways.

  1. Sounds your orange muffin with chocolate chips that you gave me….but we are a lemon household…may need to try the lemon cookies!!! How do you make the lemon frosting?

    • Marla, you can swap lemon zest and juice for the orange called for in the recipe, and omit the orange extract or use lemon extract if you want an extra zing!