Does the holiday season stress you out? We moms want to do it all: lights show, meeting Santa, pictures with the elves, gingerbread house decoration, Polar Express ride, more Santa visits, picking the perfect tree, moving the elf every night, getting the perfect presents for everyone…aaaaaa!!!
And then your son comes home asking you to bake cookies for a school bake sale!! Let’s just agree that there’s no sleeping for moms in December hahaha:). There’s no way I could let him down though, so here I go baking my favorite cookies!! These Orange Vanilla Cookies are the perfect, easiest cookies to bake that will impress everyone.
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Let me just say that even though I love to cook, I kind of have a hard time with cookies!! They are a different form of art. Throughout the years I developed my go to cookie recipe that I bake several times in December. These Soft Orange & Vanilla Cookies are so easy, you’ll look like a pro:).
My kids gobble them up so i have to double or triple the recipe when I bake for the bake sale. The cookies come out soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside!! The orange & vanilla flavor makes them the best sugar cookies I have ever tried.
I personally don’t add icing because my son seems to have some kind of sensitivity to it, but feel free to decorate them as you desire with icing, sprinkles or seasonal designs:).
I used to dislike how the dough stuck to my hands when I rolled cookies before but my friend Becky gave me 2 very useful tips:
– chill the dough before rolling
– use a scooper to get a ball of dough and then roll that
These 2 steps have made my baking cookies experience a lot more pleasant:)).
My mom used to bake an orange/pecan cake during the holidays and it was delicious!! That’s what inspired me to make orange cookies during this time of the year. Hope to get that cake recipe from my mom one day:). Until then, enjoy these orange vanilla cookies!!
Orange Vanilla Cookies Recipe Notes
Here are some of my notes for baking delicious sugar, vanilla and orange cookies. Use them in addition to the step by step recipe below to get these amazing cookies:).
- Always let the butter soften before making the cookies. I usually get the butter out of the refrigerator about an hour or two before I need to start making the dough.
- You’ll need 1 orange, zest and juice it. However, you’ll not use all the juice and all the zest since it might overpower the flavor of the cookies. I tend to want to use more, but it’s better to stick to instructions:). You’ll only need 2 tbsps of orange zest and about 2-3 tbsps orange juice.
- You don’t need complicated kitchen equipment to make these cookies. I usually use a simple whisker or a hand held mixer. If you have a stand mixer, you’ll get your results even faster.
- The secret to getting these cookies perfect is to chill the dough for about an hour before you roll the dough.
- Use parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
- These cookies bake fast, they’re not supposed to be brown. In my oven, I usually bake them for about 12 minutes.
See below some pictures of the ingredients and process pictures which I think you’ll find helpful together with the recipe notes.
It helps to get all ingredients together before you start baking.
When making the cookie dough, I would whisk with my right hand and add ingredients one by one with my left (I’m a righty) or would hold my electric hand held mixer with my left and pour ingredients one by one with my right. Here’s a process shot from when I was making the dough.
Keep the cookies about an inch or an inch and an half apart before baking them. This will prevent the cookies sticking together, taste doesn’t get affected but they lose their shape if they touch when baking.
Soft Orange Vanilla Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cups sugar (for cookie doough)
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 orange
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar for rolling cookies once ready to bake
- 2 eggs
- Squeeze the orange, put the juice aside. Zest the orange skin.
- Mix flour, salt and baking soda. Put it aside.
- Whisk eggs with sugar until smooth, add softened butter stick and keep whisking until it gets creamy. If you have a stand mixer, you’ll get the desired results faster.
- Add vanilla extract, 2 tbsps of orange zest and 2-3 tbsps of orange juice that you squeezed earlier. Whisk it all together.
- Pour the flour mixture on top and mix it well until it’s all dough and you see no more flour.
- Cover the bowl and chill for about an hour.
- Use a small size ice cream scooper and roll each ball in sugar, then shape by hand place in baking sheet. I use parchment paper on the baking sheet. Place cookies about 1-2 inches apart. I usually bake about 10 cookies per baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies look yellow and edges are getting brown. Turn off the oven and let them cook for few minutes.
- Feel free to decorate as desired:)
- Using a small ice cream size scooper, I get about 20 cookies while using a medium size ice cream scooper, I get about 12 cookies.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save one of the below 2 images to Pinterest. I’ve baked these cookies countless times and shared several images in social media, so I want to share few samples of images.
Don’t hesitate to tag or contact me in social media if you make these cookies:)
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