Everyone loves a soft and chewy cookie, but when it’s scented with a fruity citrusy smell of Orange, combined with a hint of vanilla, these cookies become extra-special! Baking cookies is a stress-buster for many, including me, and also a great way to bond as a family. You can never have enough of cookie recipes, so add this one to your cookie collection – a lovely soft chewy yet light and thin Orange cookie. The mild flavor makes it an apt choice to enjoy with tea or coffee, and if you want to make it a bit more festive, use them to make Sandwich cookies, with a little bit of your favorite fruit preserve sandwiched between two cookies.
If you are not an Orange-lover, especially in cookies, you can conveniently omit the orange and replace it with equal amount of vanilla essence to bake a batch of delicious vanilla cookies. I have tried both recipes, and love them both! I think a little dash of All-spice could be a welcome addition too, so maybe next time, I’ll make Orange Spice cookies:) For a more festive treat, add some piped icing or dusted sugar on the top. For now, here;s the basic recipe for Thin and Chewy Orange Cookies.
Soft & Chewy Orange Cookies
Yields about 30 cookies; recipe adapted from Fine Cooking magazine
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. pure orange extract
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
2 large eggs
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and keep ready.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder until well blended.
In another medium bowl, beat the butter on medium-high speed with an electric mixer (or a hand-held blender) until smooth. Add the sugar, orange extract, vanilla extract as well as the orange zest and continue beating until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each time to blend well so the eggs disintegrate and the mixture becomes fluffy, about 1 minute total.
Now add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient bowl and mix on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds. DO not over-beat or the cookies will fall apart while baking.
Using a small cookie scoop (or a mini ice cream scoop/or tablespoon), arrange heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough in mounds about 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake two sheets at a time, for about 10-12 minutes. Turn the cookie sheets midway through the baking time and rotate by 180 degrees, to ensure even baking. Bake until edges are golden brown, the centers will still be light brown.
Set the sheets on wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely. You can store these in an air-tight container for about a week.