Cookies for Santa: Orange Gingerbread Cookies
I don’t usually like to push addictive substances on people, but you’re gonna get hooked on these cookies. I’m serious, they’re addicting. These are probably the best gingerbread cookies I’ve ever tasted, and the sublime combination of orange zest and spices makes them super unique. Plus it’s an incredibly easy recipe!
Butter, sugar, and orange zest. Ain’t nothin’ better than that. If it was socially acceptable, I’d probably eat just this (probably a good thing that it’s not…)
Just look at all those spices! Ginger and nutmeg and allspice, oh my! I really like spiced cookies (and pretty much spiced anything), so my measurements tend to be heaping tablespoons. Yum!
The recipe I used called for lemon juice, but I decided to swap it for orange juice (a good move I think!). You could easily use whatever orange juice is in your fridge, but I didn’t have any, so I just squeezed the orange that I zested.
Oh, yeah. Slow like molasses.
This dough, like most gingerbread doughs, is pretty sticky (all that molasses), so extra flour for rolling/cutting is definitely key.
I used royal icing for these cookies, which is great for detailed decorating because it dries relatively quickly and, if the proper consistency, doesn’t run.
These cookies are perfect with a warm cup of spiced chai tea…or milk…or coffee…or anytime!
Orange Gingerbread Cookies – makes about 6 dozen
Adapted from the recipe by Alex Guarnaschelli
1 1/2 sticks Salted Butter, softened
1 2/3 c Sugar
1 Orange, zested
4 c All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tbsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 c Dark Molasses
1/4 c Orange Juice
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer (or stand mixer) to cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest. Beat until smooth for about 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients to blend. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and orange juice. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and beat in the egg mixture. If the dough becomes too sticky or too thick to continue beating with an electric mixer, continue mixing the dough with a wooden spoon. Divide the dough in two, cover each half with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle an ample amount of flour on a flat surface and begin to roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/6″ thick (You may need to roll smaller portions of the dough at a time). Press the dough with cookie cutters – or cut shapes with a knife – and place onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, rotating the trays half way through baking. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool and let cool completely before frosting.
Royal Icing – makes about 3 cups
3 1/2 c Powdered Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Egg Whites
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to eliminate any clumps of sugar. The consistency should be thick but not too runny. Adjust consistency by adding more sugar or a bit more lemon juice. Put frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small tip and frost completely cooled cookies.
Nutrition Information: I’ll spare you the details for these cookies – enjoy the splurge!