Orange Delight cookies

Don’t these cookies just sound festive?

A long time ago (back in the ’90s!), we stayed at a cozy farmhouse bed and breakfast in Cambridge, Wisconsin, not far from Madison.  The room was comfortable, the surroundings were peaceful, the owners were friendly, and the breakfasts were tasty.  But by far the best amenity was the well-stocked tin of freshly baked cookies in our room (the basket of warm muffins and thermos of hot coffee at the door each morning was a close second).

These cookies were so memorable–I have never had any like them before or since–that we wrote and asked for the recipe.  They are soft, almost cake-like, with a delicate orange flavor contrasted by the crunchy pecans.  The glaze soaks in and keeps these cookies moist and tender for days.

Orange Delight Cookies
from Marian Korth

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grate orange rind from one orange (or two tangerines, as I did, but an orange gives a more pronounced flavor), divide into two 1 1/2 tsp. portions, and set aside.  Squeeze the juice of the orange, add water if necessary to make 1/3 cup, and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy.  Mix in eggs, vanilla, orange rind and sour milk.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in pecans.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  (Chilling the dough for 30 minutes makes scooping these a little easier, because the batter is sticky.  Again, you can scoop these out onto the baking sheet, freeze them until solid, and transfer them to a freezer bag to bake another day.  You can freeze or refrigerate the glaze, too.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Meanwhile, stir together all three ingredients for the glaze.  Put baked cookies on a rack over a sheet pan or piece of foil and drizzle glaze over the cookies while they’re still hot.

Makes about 5 dozen (Marian said it makes 3 dozen, but her teaspoons must be bigger than mine!)


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