Orange Drop Cookies remind me of summer. Remember orange dreamsicles? Or is it orange creamsicles? Whatever you call them, the vanilla ice cream covered with an orange sweet/tart popsicle on a stick treats were a favorite every summer during childhood. I haven’t enjoyed one in years.
These classic, old fashioned drop orange cookies include citrus flavor with the creaminess of white chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Not quite an orange creamsicle, but so good. Somehow the simplicity of these cookies makes me happy.
I found this orange drop cookie recipe in my files from the 60’s. Oh my, that was awhile ago. It was back when we used mainly Crisco shortening for baking. Like butter was a bad thing! And I grew up on a farm with memories of churning butter in our old farmhouse kitchen. Well, that only happened once I think, but I do remember it. Actually I remember my Mom keeping a large pail in the pantry filled with lard. I don’t know where the lard came from, but it made the best pies!
But back to Orange drop cookies.
So, use shortening if you want, it will make the cookies slightly thicker and less likely to flatten, but I like the flavor of butter much better and if you chill the dough and bake at the proper oven temperature, your cookies will be fine.
The original recipe we used for orange drop cookies included 3/4 cup of shortening. I tweaked the recipe today and changed the shortening to butter also increasing the amount a bit.
I used 1/2 cup of store bought orange juice for this recipe. Use 100% orange juice. I used no pulp. You can use freshly squeezed orange juice if you have wonderful fresh oranges, which we do not in Pennsylvania in the middle of summer. I did buy a few oranges for the zest, which adds a nice flavor to the cookie and also looks pretty on the glaze.
Make sure you chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour prior to scooping.This cookie dough is thick and slightly sticky. It must be chilled to avoid orange pancakes when you bake! After chilling, you can scoop the dough and roll in a bowl of white granulated sugar prior to baking. The sugar gives a nice crackly surface to the cookies that I like, but this step is not necessary.
After the cookies are baked, cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes, then cool completely on a rack to get ready for glazing. You’ll know the cookies are finished baking when the edges turn slightly brown, the middles will remain pale.
I used a simple powdered sugar icing with butter and orange juice topped with a bit of orange zest and glazed with a fork. I’m not thrilled with my glazing design, I just waved the fork back and forth over the cookie, but you get the idea. You could mix your icing thicker and frost the cookie completely if you like. If you decide to frost the entire cookie, double the icing recipe listed below.
These cake-like cookies are baked with simple ingredients. The white chocolate chunks add a creaminess to the texture of the cookie and the sweet glaze with the citrusy flavor is perfect for a hot summer day.
I hope you enjoy this old-fashioned cookie recipe!
- 8 ounces softened butter (1 cup or 2 sticks)
- 5½ ounces white granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 1 whole egg
- 4 ounces 100% orange juice (1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 2 TBL orange zest, plus additional zest for topping of glaze.
- 11 ounces all-purpose flour (2½ cup)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 6 ounces white chocolate chunks (approximately 1½ cups)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 TBL very soft butter
- 2 TBL orange juice
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
- Mix dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.
- Add dry ingredients to mixture alternating with orange juice.
- Add 2 TBL orange zest and combine.
- Chill dough for 30 minutes.
- Scoop dough into 30 cookies and roll into a bowl of white granulated sugar.
- Bake in 375 degree oven, cool, glaze and top with additional orange zest.
Use more or less orange juice when mixing up glaze to desired consistency.