I confess, I started my search for an orange Christmas cookie with chocolate variations. I have a weakness for chocolate oranges at Christmas, so it seemed a natural choice.
Be thankful, fellow bakers, that I ran across this recipe for Cinnamon Orange Cookies at the now-defunct Canary Girl blog instead. (Or, if you're trying to avoid that extra 15 holiday pounds, curse my name.)
The marriage of cinnamon's spicy sweetness and orange's tartness is -- maybe -- even better than a chocolate orange, and much lighter.
Rumor has it the dough tastes like an orange Creamsicle, though of course that cannot be confirmed, because I would never suggest eating a dough with raw egg in it. Especially not if the taste and smell of a Creamsicle will keep you diving back for one last finger swipe before the bowl goes into the sink for a washing.
If you like your cookies bigger, doubling the size of the dough balls here will make some generously sized monsters for gobbling up. Besides, they have orange juice in them -- that clearly makes them part of a complete breakfast. Right?
Cinnamon Orange Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or shortening
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 medium to large orange to zest
¼ cup orange juice (from zested orange)
2½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Beat 1 cup sugar with the butter or shortening, egg, vanilla and orange zest. Add the orange juice, flour, soda and salt and stir until well combined.
3. Combine 1/3 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons cinnamon. Shape dough into walnut-sized balls to make four dozen cookies. Roll in cinnamon sugar and press onto prepared cookie sheets with a glass dipped in cinnamon sugar for flat discs or press gently with your fingertips for more rounded mounds.
4. Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.