The Best Orange Cookies You Will Ever Eat

The headline is not hyperbole. These cookies are something for the ages; they are to be revered and adored; tales of their wonder will be relayed to future generations. OK, that part might have been a bit of an exaggeration. But seriously, these things are delicious and you should make them.

These are an old family recipe. As far as anyone knows, they originated with my great-grandmother. I remember the recipe as something my grandmother passed along. I like to share it with as many people as possible (it was published in Bust a couple of years ago, too) because it’s just that awesome.

I mean, look at these. Look.

The cookies really aren’t that hard to make, but if you show up at a party with them, they look impressive. They’re also perfectly great to eat all by yourself, on the couch in your underwear in front of the TV, if that’s how you roll.

Vegans: I have no idea how well these would translate to accommodate you. I have never tried making them with other ingredients in place of the eggs or sour cream, or the butter in the icing. If you are going to try to adapt them, know that the texture is normally crumbly and vaguely cake-like, so the substitutions should be whatever lend themselves best to that.

Orange Drop Cookies:

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 whole orange, ground

1 cup sour cream

4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and ground orange. Sift together flour, soda and powder. Add alternately with sour cream, putting flour first. Drop on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

Even without frosting, they're epic.


3 Tbsp melted butter

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp grated orange rind

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Combine in a double boiler for 10 minutes, then beat until spreadable.

The icing recipe isn’t too difficult, either, though it might take some practice if you’ve never done it before. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, a can of plain vanilla frosting will work, but they’re really a lot better with the orange.

Alright, Persephoneers, anyone else have any family dessert recipes that are just too good to keep secret? Oh, and if you decide to make these, leave a comment and let me know how they turned out.

By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

5 replies on “The Best Orange Cookies You Will Ever Eat”

These look so good :).  I always try to make myself like things with orange zest, but after my dad forced me to eat stuffing he made with orange rind that went through the cheese grater (read: huge pieces of orange peel), I haven’t been able to get it past the gag reflex, even 20 years later.  It’s especially bad when it catches me by surprise.  I’ll give them a try and if I can’t eat them, I bet I can find someone who will!

First, wash it. Then, grate off the zest for the frosting and set it aside. Then cut the rest of the orange into chunks (peel and all) and throw it into a blender. It’ll be a mixture of juice and pulpy stuff.

If you see any seeds in there before you blend it, it’s not a bad idea to pick them out.

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