Orange cookies may not seem like an obvious choice for a cookie to be included in a Christmas line-up but I like mixing up flavors in my holiday baked gifts and because I do plenty of chocolate desserts, I also throw in some flavor contrasts. This is especially good during winter because it's a refreshing taste amidst all the rich chocolate I tend to do this month.
Bonus that the dough is quick and easy to make, as is the filling. Although the original directions say otherwise, you can also chill or freeze this dough so it's easy to make ahead of time. I like to make each cookie a bit small and flatten into discs rather than rounded dough balls to make sure the finished cookies will be more dainty than behemoth; remember you're eating 2 cookies in one.
Orange sandwich cookies
From Shugary Sweets
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (I substituted another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 generous tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Pinch of salt
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons orange juice (less or more depending on your preference for the consistency of the filling)
1. For the cookies, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and orange extracts and egg. Beat about 2 minutes. Beat in zest of two oranges (about 1 heaping tablespoon) and 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice. Scrape sides of bowl and add in dry ingredients.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop by (flattened) tablespoon and bake in a 350-degree F oven for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
3. For the filling, beat butter with powdered sugar. Add enough orange juice to achieve desired consistency. Spread filling between two cookies of like size. Store in airtight container.
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