Although I live in Canada and there is nary an orange tree in sight, I still manage to think of Christmas when I think of orange-y flavors. Maybe it’s because there’s always a clementine in the toe of my stocking. Or maybe it’s because it’s been a long-standing joke in my family that we give my dad a Terry’s Chocolate Orange from a “mystery person” every year. Or maybe I just like orange because it pairs so nicely with all those Christmas spices. And chocolate. Man, does it ever taste good with chocolate.
Orange Crunch Cookies (makes approximately 24 cookies)
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. butter, diced
1/3 c. soft dark brown sugar
1/2 egg yolk, beaten
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp orange zest
1 c. icing sugar
3 tbsp orange juice
Sift flour in a bowl and rub diced butter into it until it forms a bread crumb-like texture. Using a table knife, stir rest of ingredients in the flour until mix forms clumps. Working with your hands, work dough into a small ball. Roll into log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 1/2 hours or until firm.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Slice log of dough into thin discs and place on a parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes and allow cookies to set a bit on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are baking, you can make the icing. Beat sugar and orange juice together to form smooth paste. Pour into a piping bag and drizzle over cooled cookies.
B’s Tip: To create orange zest you can use a zester or you can grate the orange lightly on either a tabletop or hand-held cheese grater. Just make sure you don’t start grating what’s called the “pith”- the stringy white stuff that’s underneath when you peel an orange. Including that in your recipe will diminish the sweet orange flavour that’s coming from the peel and instead just make it bitter.
Instead of drizzling with orange icing, why not try dipping cooled cookies into melted chocolate or drizzling with a chocolate ganache? Better still, leave cookies as-is so they can act as the perfect dippers in a mug of your favourite hot chocolate.
I’m counting down Christmas by sharing some of my favourite holiday cookie recipes with you! I’ll be posting a different Christmas cookie recipe every day for the next seven days so you can follow along in my family’s baking tradition, and have more cookies to add to your Christmas baking arsenal! For more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.