Monday, June 15, 2009

Orange Butter Cookies

This is basically an orange sugar cookie. It's a recipe from my new Amy's Bread cookbook. My husband, Larry, really enjoyed this cookie. He does not care for the "melt-away" texture that I like in my shortbread/sugar/butter sort of cookie. This cookie has a texture that is more classic sugar cookie. Crisp edges, kind of cakey center and more crunchy but not crumbly. I like the orange flavor in these cookies but the texture is not my favorite. This recipe is very basic and comes together quickly. It's flavored with orange zest but I also added a splash of orange extract & a splash of vanilla. I sprinkled my sparkling white coarse sugar on top - after I had flattened them slightly. This recipe calls for cake flour, in addition to all purpose flour. I did not have any cake flour so I used a combination of all purpose flour with a bit of cornstarch. Supposedly, that combination is a substitute recipe for cake flour. I bet these cookies would be wonderful as lemon cookies too! The recipe that I've copied & pasted below (from the New York Times online edition) calls for an icing to be drizzled on after the cookies cool. Oooh, that sounds tasty. Odd but my book doesn't mention that option but maybe next time I will try the icing.

I went to Amy's Bread bakery in Greenwich Village just a couple of weeks ago. I bought this cookbook just last weekend. Wow! It has a lot of great recipes. This recipe is the first one I've tried from my book.

Whenever a recipe I'm making calls for zest, I always have better luck mixing my freshly grated zest with my granulated sugar. It seems to distribute more evenly. Otherwise, my zest seems to gather on the beaters.

I flattened each ball of dough with a large fork and sprinkled with my coarse sparkling sugar.

Just out of the oven. The edges are just barely golden brown.

These cookies are so fragrant! Lots of flecks of orange zest and wonderful, sweet orange flavor.

Orange Butter Cookies

Adapted from “The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread” by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree

Time: 1 hour

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 2/3 cups cake flour or more all-purpose flour (cake flour gives a finer texture)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

2 packed teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature


1 orange

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk

2 drops almond or vanilla extract

Pinch fine salt.

1. Position two oven racks in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk flours, baking soda and salt together. In a mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and orange zest at medium speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl frequently. Add egg and mix. Add one egg yolk and mix. Add remaining egg yolk and mix. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined.

3. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto parchment, leaving more than 1 inch between cookies. Press each one down lightly with 2 fingers to flatten to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Leave any ridges and valleys on top of cookie intact, but smooth the edges.

4. Bake about 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through. Cookies should be pale but baked all the way through. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool before storing in airtight containers up to 1 week.

5. When ready to serve, make icing: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Peel orange, being careful to remove only outer orange zest, and cut into thin strips. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute; drain. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons milk. Whisk in more milk if needed to make mixture thin enough to spread. Add extract, salt and zest, and whisk to combine.

6. Place cookies on a rack and drizzle icing over each one (make sure there is some orange zest in each spoonful). Icing will settle into cookie crevices; let harden.

Yield: About 4 dozen cookies.

Note: Instead of icing, cookies can be sprinkled with coarse crystal sugar before baking.


♥Rosie♥ said...

Heidi you have me drooling here with those divine cookies!! Oooh I need to rustle into my kitchen and knock up a batch - thank you for sharing with us :0)

Jamie said...

Your cookies look great and the cover of that book makes me want to run out and get it!!! :)

Amy said...

Yum! These cookies look delicious! I always rub the zest and sugar together with my fingers in recipes that call for zest. I find that you get more flavor from the zest, and also not big clumps of zest in the end.

Love the blog!

Annemarie said...

These look absolutely delicious and will be made in my kitchen very soon.
Thanks for your nice comment! You will love the salad!