Orange-Kissed Cookies

CATEGORIES: Cookies, Kate

Over the last three years since our little blog was born, there have been a lot of changes, but a few things have always stayed the same: an orange segment and the colors blue and green.  So I totally giggled when I uploaded these pictures to my computer and realized that I had made orange cookies with blue and green in the pictures.  This blog has totally infiltrated my subconscious.

I hesitate calling these bad boys cookies because they have a texture more similar to whoopie pies–soft, light, and cakey. And the dough is hardly dough–it’s thicker than cake batter, but not by much.  But seriously, I’m throwing semantics to the side (not to mention my attempts to eat healthy…blah…nothing like cookies to derail that train) in the name of deliciousness.

For starters, you’ll need orange zest (lots–probably 1 very large orange or 2 smaller ones), orange juice concentrate, salt, baking soda, baking powder, flour, vanilla, sour cream (I’m pretty sure no bad cookie recipe ever calls for sour cream), an egg, sugar, and shortening.

Now…before any of you go and call CPS because I’m poisoning my children and the children of the world with shortening in my cookies, I want to point out that while shortening contained trans-fats once upon a time, it no longer does. Promise. Cross my heart, hope to die. Butter is too heavy for this recipe–the cookies will come out like rocks and not like dreamy little orange pillows that you’re fantasizing don’t have any calories.

So enough about shortening.  Preheat your oven to 375 and then, in a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening and sugar and beat until well-combined.  Add the egg and beat until moistened.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat about 1 minute or until light and fluffy.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Add the orange juice concentrate and orange zest and mix until combined.

Like I said, this dough will be very moist.  You’ll either need a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to scoop it out (a cookie scoop will be less messy) or you can fill a large freezer bag or cake decorating bag with the dough and squeeze it onto a cookie sheet.  That’s what I did here because my cookie scoop was encrusted in Play-doh.

If you pipe them, you’ll notice the pointy, Hershey’s kiss-like tops:

You can bake them that way, but the tippy tops will get too brown before the rest of the cookie, so I flattened mine out just by gently pressing each tip down.  And then I neglected to take a picture.

Bake these guys for about 8-10 minutes or until they are just starting to turn golden around the edges.  Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine some softened butter, powdered sugar, more orange juice concentrate, and orange rind with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  You can spread it onto the cookies, but I find it’s so much easier to pipe it on with a decorating bag or a heavy-duty freezer bag.

Not kidding.  Baby angel clouds of orange heaven.

This recipe makes about 36 cookies.


  1. This reminds me of a cookie my grandma used to make when I was a kid, we loved them! They just taste like summer to me! Thanks for the recipe, I think I’ll be trying these today!

  2. These look beautiful. I have to buy the shortening from a US food website since I live in Australia and all our shortening is animal fat base and isn’t quite the same as crisco. Can I use the juice from the orange I zest instead of the concentrate then use some orange food colouring to get the same effect? I have never seen orange juice concentrate at my local supermarket.

    1. You know, I thought of that, too, but the concentrate packs so much punch in such a small amount that either the cookies wouldn’t be as orange-y or you’d have to increase the juice and then reduce the liquid (or increase the dry ingredients) somewhere else. I’m always so scared of messing things up that I just end up eating the orange and hoping that maybe it counteracts the negative effects of the cookies. 🙂

      1. Just wondering if instead of the concentrate, she (Alix) could maybe use a bit of orange extract mixed with the orange juice (or in a real pinch, maybe some powdered orange drink or jello)? Definately would have to experiment to get the flavor right, but it might work…. just a thought.

    2. Look in the freezer section of your market for the orange juice concentrate. It is usually with other frozen juice concentrates sold in a tube or with the frozen fruit. If is worth looking for. You can scoop out defrost only what you need. Save the rest and marinate chicken or fish, add to a quick-bread recipe, make a vinaigrette, or just add water and drink 🙂

    3. Hi Alix,

      I am from New Zealand and like you I often need to find alternatives for US recipes. In NZ we have a product called Kremelta which is a vegetable based shortening like crisco. I am sure you must have something similar that will cost you less than importing. Just a thought all the same.

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