Mandarin Orange Crinkle Cookies
for the dough:
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 2 mandarin oranges about 1-1 1/2 tablespoons
- 3-4 tablespoons mandarin orange juice from about 2 oranges
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar I used orange-colored sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment set aside.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest. Beat in the egg and juice until smooth. Add the remaining dough ingredients. Set aside.
- Whisk together the dusting ingredients in a small bowl/
- Scoop 1 1/2 -2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough (I used a cookie scoop) and roll them into balls. Roll in the sugar mixture.
- Place on the pan 1 1/2 inches apart. Repeat for the remaining dough. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops look set and the edges are just the barest hint of brown. Cool on pan for 2 minutes then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Can't find mandarin oranges? Sub in clementines aka Cuties or navel oranges
- The granulated sugar helps the confectioners' sugar stick to the dough, don't leave it out!
- Recipe can be doubled
- If you'd like smaller cookies, roll them in 1 tablespoon balls. These are jumbo cookies!
- I used this cookie scoop and made rounded scoops.
Getting a strong citrus flavor in baked goods can be difficult without using extracts, the flavor of juice really bakes out, but it can be done. The trick to really orange-y cookies is to load up on the zest and cream it into the butter and sugar. I think the grittiness of the sugar really gets the oils out of the zest and infused the butter with it much better than adding it in with the dry ingredients or later in the process. These cookies had a bright orange flavor in every bite. The texture is amazing too, perfectly chewy yet crisp around the edges.
Crinkle cookies are great because they take a tiny bit more effort than drop cookies but the little effort you do put in pays off in a fairly impressive way. I used orange colored sugar (leftover from a Halloween cookie decorating set) which not only looks cute but helps the confectioners sugar to stick and makes them easy to identify as orange if they are on a tray with their other cookie friends. I am really a chocolate dessert person but even I went back for seconds more times than I’d like to admit. They are simply a very flavorful, appealing cookie that is satisfying to eat.