These cookies are a tradition at our house during the holidays, but would make an excellent cookie choice for Easter or any Spring or Summer get-together. They would be ideal at a wedding, bridal or baby shower.
This past Christmas, things were hectic at our house. Our home had been under construction for months, I got sick, and we were breathlessly awaiting the birth of our second grandchild. Needless to say, I didn’t get to my holiday baking, which at our house, is unheard of. Sure enough, my daughter went into labor and I could not think of much else. We were blessed with the appearance of our grandson early in the morning on Christmas Eve, the best Christmas gift any of us could ask for. I could not fathom celebrating Christmas without something sweet, so I somehow managed to make these cookies. They were all we needed. Our family Christmas was complete.
For the Cookies:
1 6oz. can orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c sour cream, at room temperature
4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp grated orange zest
For the Frosting:
6 tbsp butter, softened
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
4 tbsp evaporated milk, or enough to make frosting fluffy and spreadable
2 tbsp reserved orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2 tsp or 1 tbsp vanilla (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (375 degrees for high altitude).
To Make Cookies:
Reserve 2 tbsp. orange juice concentrate for frosting. Grate 2 tbsp. orange zest for the cookies and 1 tbsp. zest for the frosting. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter together for 2 minutes. Add sour cream, eggs, and orange juice concentrate. Mix well.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture and grated zest to sugar/butter mixture and beat thoroughly. Using a 1 inch cookie scoop or a rounded tablespoon of dough, drop cookies onto a nonstick baking sheet (or line baking sheet with Silpat or parchment), and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom of cookies are just lightly browned. Do not overbake. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and transfer to a baking rack to cool.
To Make Frosting:
Beat butter in mixing bowl to fluff. Beat in the powdered sugar and evaporated milk, alternately, until the frosting is fluffy and spreadable. Add the reserved orange juice concentrate and orange zest, mixing well.
Frost cookies and enjoy!
Makes 60 1-inch cookies or 30 2-inch cookies.
Adapted from More Recipes from Quilt Country Cookbook