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Orange Glazed Cookies

September 12, 2009

A friend of mine asked me the other day what it felt like to finally be a senior. I told him that it felt great because for one, everything sort of doesn’t really matter anymore; all that’s left to do is to enjoy your classes and the experience of college before it all ends. But then I also told him that there was this sense of urgency behind everything I did, an urgency to enjoy and appreciate everything one last time before I graduated.

Throughout my college years, one of the greatest opportunities I had was to work at the Reference Department at the campus library. I met so many wonderful and unforgettable people working there (with, of course, a few exceptions) — it’s the kind of experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the perks of working in the Reference Department was that some of the librarians were really great bakers, including my boss, Debby — it’s from her that I get this recipe.

Debby used to bake these for us around final exam time at the end of both semesters, crammed into a goodie bag filled with all sorts of delectable baked goods from the other librarians as well. It was almost worth it to suffer through finals just to get my hands on one of those goodie bags. The first time I had these cookies, I thought that Debby had bought them from the store or bakery as there was no way anyone could bake cookies this good at home.

When she said that these were one of her most favorite cookies to make, I had to get the recipe. These cookies are almost like little cakes with a orangey, sweet glaze on top (think along the lines of a madeline cookie). The lightness of the cookies, that almost just floats on your tongue, is weighed perfectly down with the rich glaze. The subtle flavor of orange, from the zest and juice, balances out the sugary glaze for delightfully fluffy bites. Speckled with orange zest and pulp against a pale white glaze, these cookies are as pretty to look at as they are to enjoy!

Orange Glazed Cookies

Orange Glazed Cookies

Orange Glazed Cookies, from Debby


1 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening OR unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
1 cup buttermilk
Zest of 2 oranges, divided
2/3 cup orange juice (from zested oranges), divided
1 package (16 oz.) powdered sugar


1. Cream shortening or unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl, gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs; beat well.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Stir in half of the orange zest and 1/3 cup orange juice, mixing well.

3. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets, and cool completely on wire racks.

4. Combine remaining orange zest, juice, and powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl, beating with a wire whisk until smooth; spread evenly over tops of cooled cookies. Makes about 6 dozen.


I substituted real butter instead of the shortening (1:1 ratio) and had no issues with how the cookies tasted, they are delicious. The dough of these cookies is more like a batter, you can’t really form or roll them like you would a chocolate chip cookie dough. My suggestion would be to let the cookie dough rest a bit, and they should come out of the tablespoon a bit easier than if you were to directly plop them onto the baking sheet immediately after mixing.

I would definitely recommend using the real orange juice from the orange than commercial orange juice. Perhaps some candied oranges on top as well! I halved the recipes with no issues at all.

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