Hey everyone, it’s Sierra here! Today I’m sharing with you a recipe for orange gingerbread cookies that is perfect for the holidays!
Who doesn’t love gingerbread cookies around Christmas? The smell of the warm spices baking in the oven wafting throughout the house is simply irresistible. For these orange gingerbread cookies, I added a slight twist to the classic gingerbread cookie by adding orange zest in the cookie and orange juice in the icing. The addition of orange adds just a hint of tanginess to the cookies to complement the sweet and spicy flavors, and it breathes new life into this timeless dessert.
What makes a good gingerbread cookie?
It’s in the name—it should taste like ginger! Not as much as eating a knob of ginger, but there should be an unmistakable ginger flavor in every bite.
However, it would taste terrible if it just tasted like ginger. That’s where the rest of the warm, spicy flavors come in. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice all bring these complementary flavors that reduce the kick of the ginger while adding their own unique flavors. The resulting flavor is exciting and will definitely wake up your taste buds!
The texture of a gingerbread cookie should be crisp on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Too many store-bought cookies end up being hard and dry, so when you make these at home, make sure to not overbake!
What’s with the orange?
The orange zest in the cookie itself and the orange juice in the icing add just a hint of vibrant and bright flavors to this otherwise warm cookie. I specifically chose orange instead of another citrus, like lemon, because it is the perfect balance of bright citrusy flavors and sweetness.
For the gingerbread cookie, I used orange zest because I didn’t want a very strong flavor, just the fragrance of the orange. For the icing, however, I used orange juice for a more intense orange flavor. This combination yielded the best texture for the cookies and just the right amount of orange notes overall.
Before we get started, here are a few tips to help you get it right on the first try! This recipe is very easy and should turn out great no matter what, but with these tips, you’ll get the right texture and flavor every time.
- Add the dry ingredients to the dough mixture in batches. I accidentally added all of the dry ingredients to the dough all at once, and I ended up with a dough that was way too dry to roll out. Make sure to add the dry ingredients about 1/4 cup at a time and fully incorporate it before adding the next batch.
- When rolling the dough out, very lightly flour the surface. Just a small amount of flour should prevent the dough from sticking when rolled out. If you add too much flour, the cookie will end up too dry as the flour will get incorporated into the dough.
- Don’t overbake! The cookie should be baked just enough so that the outside is crispy. Keep in mind that for that to happen, the cookie may still look a little soft when you take it out of the oven. Don’t worry, once it cools, it will harden!
These orange gingerbread cookies are so easy and are a great winter snack/dessert! Let’s get started on the recipe!
Looking for more winter desserts?
- Cast Iron Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Bourbon Frosting
- Candied Pecan Bourbon Bread Pudding
- Pumpkin Chocolate Babka
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