Harvesting citrus + baking cookies.

The citrus trees in our yard are bursting with fruit. Grapefruits and tangelos are dropping off the branches and littering the lawn like glistening, vivid spheres.

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Today I decided it was high time to use some of them up in my baking. There is something so lovely about picking citrus from your own trees and then turning them into a fragrant baked good that fills the house with a sugary citrus scent.

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These are my favourite cookies – they are soft and cake-like, kind of like a cross between an orange sponge cake and a muffin top. I normally make them with orange but they can be made with any citrus fruits.

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CITRUS BUTTER COOKIES

Category

My parents live in the Midwestern desert of Phoenix, Arizona. It's incredibly hot, dry, dusty - but citrus grows so well. During harvest, the immense tangelo tree in their backyard spawns so many fruits that we can barely keep up. We pick them straight off the tree, blend them whole for juice, eat them while still standing under the tree with the sticky sweet juice dripping off our elbows, or bake them into cookies like this.

Yields36 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time30 mins

Cookies
 2 cups salted butter, softened
 1 ½ cups sugar
 2 large eggs, separated
 4 cups plain flour
 3 tbsp citrus zest
 2 tbsp citrus juice
Icing
 3 cups icing sugar
 2 tbsp whole milk
 2 tbsp citrus zest
 ½ lime, juiced
 ½ lemon, juiced
 salt, dash
 extra zest, for decorating

1

Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg yolks and mix until combined (set whites aside for the icing.) Add the zest and the flour and mix until just combined, then add juice and mix until combined.

2

Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, then roll them into balls between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep on the cookie sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a spatula and allow to cool completely before icing.

Icing
3

To make the icing, combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency.

4

Drizzle the icing across the cookies in several lines, then do it again in the other direction. Sprinkle with extra zest before the icing sets.

Ingredients

Cookies
 2 cups salted butter, softened
 1 ½ cups sugar
 2 large eggs, separated
 4 cups plain flour
 3 tbsp citrus zest
 2 tbsp citrus juice
Icing
 3 cups icing sugar
 2 tbsp whole milk
 2 tbsp citrus zest
 ½ lime, juiced
 ½ lemon, juiced
 salt, dash
 extra zest, for decorating

Directions

1

Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg yolks and mix until combined (set whites aside for the icing.) Add the zest and the flour and mix until just combined, then add juice and mix until combined.

2

Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, then roll them into balls between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep on the cookie sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a spatula and allow to cool completely before icing.

Icing
3

To make the icing, combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency.

4

Drizzle the icing across the cookies in several lines, then do it again in the other direction. Sprinkle with extra zest before the icing sets.

Citrus Butter Cookies


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