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Orange drop cookies

teebee's picture

Hi (again) Abby,
I have a recipe, a list of ingredients, actually, that was my great grandmother's. I have made these cookies since I was young, but always remember needing to "play" with the recipe to get it right. The cookies are almost cake like, with an orange frosting. I've never seen a recipe close to this one, except the same recipe that my cousin put in her church cookbook. Our lists are a bit different. I am wondering how you would use these ingredients.

1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 orange (juice and zest), 1 egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 1/4 cups flour. My cousin's recipe also called for 1/2 tsp baking powder, but no egg. The frosting ingredients include butter, powdered sugar, salt, orange juice and zest. The only instructions my recipe had was to bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes (this is consistent with my cousin's recipe).

How would you proceed? Any thoughts on the egg and baking powder?

Thanks so much!

ADodge's picture

Hi Teebee..

Let me see if I can help here.. First off, I need a bit more info from you.
Do you use the creaming method for mixing (fat and sugar, then egg, the fold or stir in flour(mixed w/ leavener) alternating with liquids?

What do you mean when you say that you always need to "play" with it? Do you add more liquid? Flour? Sugar?
Looking forward to hearing back from you -- I have a soft spot for keeping old-school recipes current!!

teebee's picture

I haven't made these cookies for a few years. I would cream the butter and sugar, add the egg, then alternate buttermilk/dry ingredients (like I do for cake). My cousin's recipe says to mix all of the ingredients (I think that she just made up the instructions for her church cookbook).
I think that the texture was sometimes off (either too runny or "puffy"). Sugar was not the issue, as the cookies are frosted, so that adds sweetness. Also, I think that another problem is that the amount of orange juice is not a standard: "juice of one orange" is written. Oranges can really vary in size, and amount of juice. The dough gets dropped by tablespoon and baked, not sure whether it's on an ungreased sheet or not (I now own Silpats, and would use those). Thanks again for your interest in this.

PS I've got Kahlua Fudge Bites cooling on the counter!

ADodge's picture

hi teebee..
You are absolutely right - your inconsistent results are stemming from the fluctuation in liquid. I'd stick to your method of mixing (it's classic for this list of ingredients) and measure your OJ and MARK it down in the margin. Depending on your results, make note of whether you need to increase, decrease or stick with the same amount. It might take a few test drives but you'll end up with a great recipe!
Oh.. and go with Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheets!