Orange Cardamom Cookies

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold orange on a hot day . . . except maybe the smell of orange zest cookie dough! Week 11: Orange Cardamom Sugar Cookies.

Now, on the baking scale of easy to difficult, sugar cookies are smack dab in the middle of the easy side. My excuse for choosing these cookies is that I was going to practice my icing decorating skills. As you can see from the picture, my goal of lovely geometric shapes and circles in varying shades of icing didn’t work out so well. But the tie-dye pattern of icing drippings on the table was quite impressive, I must say.

This is probably going to be my new go-to sugar cookie recipe. They are soft, but still have a snap, and they hold their shape beautifully. (Can’t wait to try my moose cookie cutter – it is the true test of how sturdy a cookie dough is) Plus, you can flavor them in any way you fancy! I’m so ready for Christmas cookie season. Bring it.



As this recipe called for agave syrup or honey, I dug around my jar of local honey. Unfortunately, it had completely crystallized. Have no fear if your honey is a solid, sugary mess! You can bring it back to liquid life by sticking it in a pot of hot water and letting it warm up/cool down slowly.



I discovered that I have an unintentional red and white theme in my kitchen utensils (with the occasional splash of teal, of course!) Also, quick tip that I learned from the best cooking teacher in the world, Weezie Mott: only buy baking powder in tiny containers. That way you use it up before it has time to lose potency. Ta-daa!




More fun facts from Weezie Mott: you’ve been using your microplane zester wrong this whole time. I always rested it atop a bowl, with the grating side up, using the bowl to catch the zest. Apparently, it’s better to hold the orange instead, and use the zester upside down so the zest collects in the indentation. It works so well! Plus, it’s much easier to clean up. A simple reminder that the world is upside down and backwards,and that’s okay.




This cookie dough is a classic case of Roll and Chill. It has to chill at intervals between mixing, rolling and baking. This is the magic that allows the cookie to maintain such good shape! Keeping the dough cold solidifies the fat, which then will melt slower in its stay in the oven sauna. Woo, science. And patience. Lots of patience. Especially on a hot day. Whew.



I used my lovely set of scalloped cookie cutters for these cookies, but you can use whatever shape your heart desires. I’m thinking diamonds next time, ya feel?



Before sauna, and after sauna. They crisp up pretty quickly, so be careful not to over-bake!



Now on to the frosting! I work right next to a Sur La Table, *my wallet quietly sobs in the background* so I can run over to grab little items on my lunch break. Meringue powder was my most recent acquisition. It’s basically powdered egg whites to help add sheen to royal icing. It also helps to stiffen the icing so it holds it’s shape when decorating.




So many colors! Excuse the lighting in the last few pictures, the sun didn’t comply with my baking schedule.




Aaaand as you can see, my royal icing was way too runny. Cest la vie. I made a large mess and it was quite fun. 10 out of 10, would recommend.




When in doubt, throw sprinkles about. Hehe, rhymes. Happy munching!

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