Chocolate is the core dessert around my house, but when putting together Christmas cookie tins, I make sure I include different tastes so there is something for everyone. This cookie is the best of the citrus flavored options, it really pops with flavor and the icing makes it very rich. After all, orange goes great with chocolate, so let’s just look at these as the complement to the chocolate cookies in the tin, supporting the main event!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp orange zest
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp Grand Marnier (orange liqueur, or use orange extract)
1 cup icing sugar (or confectioners sugar)
2 – 3 tablespoons orange juice (from the oranges you zested)
1/2 tbsp orange zest
Tip: Depending on the thickness of the zest, to get the full tablespoon of zest could take as many as 4 or 5 oranges! Make sure you use the top orange layer of the skin only, that has all the flavor.
Zest your oranges to get the 1 tablespoon of zest and reserve in the fridge until you need it. Squeeze a couple of oranges to collect the 3 tbsps of juice for the icing, and reserve this in the fridge as well. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl with a handheld blender or in the bowl of the Kitchenaid standing mixer, blend the butter on medium high for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the sugar and half a tbsp of the orange zest and beat for another 2 minutes.
Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then beat in the Grand Marnier. Add in the flour mixture slowly, beating on lowest setting, until well combined and it has formed a soft dough.
Scoop the dough in rounded tablespoons onto parchment covered trays (I roll them a bit like a meatball into nice even orbs). Put the balls onto parchment covered cookie trays, and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. You need to bake them straight from the freezer, so when you are getting ready to bake the first batch, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake cookies for 15 – 17 minutes (look for lightly browned bottoms). Cool on cooling racks until room temperature, then ice.
To make the glaze: Whisk together the confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp of the juice and the 1/2 tbsp of zest. If it seems too thick, you can add the last tbsp of the juice.
Ice the cookies once cool, and leave to set on wire racks for an hour. Store immediately in an airtight tin for a few days or freeze for up to 1 month.