These simple orange cookies have a secret surprise inside–a jammy orange center! Orange cookies are popular in Italy, where they’re often iced with an orange flavored icing. Sometimes almond extract is also added. They are crumbly, melt-in-the-mouth, and all the flavor of citrus in one bite. They’re flavored with both citrus zest and orange juice, which means every soft, crumbly bite packs a punch of flavor. The texture is similar to a shortbread cookie due to the amount of butter used. You’d think that they’re difficult to make, but you simply mix together the ingredients and bake! With a few minutes of mixing, an hour in the fridge, and 15 minutes in the oven, you’ll have the most delicious zesty cookie!
Using a food processor will be useful to create the perfect crumb. Simply add the flour and butter, and pulse until a crumb forms. The dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
These orange cookies will keep well in an airtight container (at room temperature) for about a week. The cookie dough can be frozen. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator and proceed with the recipe by shaping the balls and filling them. You can also freeze the baked cookies.
Whisk together the flour with salt and baking powder.
Add the butter, and use fingers to mix it in and form a crumb.
In a separate bowl, add the sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, egg, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine all the ingredients.
Pour egg mixture into the butter-flour mixture and knead to combine.
The kneaded dough should be smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and let sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into small balls.
Flatten each ball slightly, fill the middle with jam and roll again.
Roll the balls in granulated sugar, then powdered sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 180°C.
– It’s important to refrigerate the cookie dough, before you proceed with rest of the recipe. This prevents the butter from melting too quickly in the oven, which will cause it to spread too quickly.
– The butter should be very cold, don’t use butter that’s at room temperature, or worse, melted.
– For extra sweetness, you can ice these simple orange cookies. Simply combine 2 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup orange juice, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. Top with extra orange zest.
– You can add other fillings. Try orange marmalade with a slight bitter taste, or even another fruity jam.
– Add almond extract to the cookie dough for extra flavor, it really brings out the flavor of the orange zest.