These cookies were the 3rd installment of my cookie-of-the-month club at work. It’s a perfect recipe to make now when oranges are in season and I’m also including a variation with cranberries. I love the flavor combination of oranges and cranberries.  I had a half of a bag of cranberries in the fridge from the holidays and I needed a way to use them. I prefer these cookies with the cranberries but they are still very good with just the oranges.

The recipe is from the December/January 2011 issue of Family Fun magazine.  My daughter and I enjoy looking through that magazine each month. I subscribe because Catherine Newman writes for Family Fun. I adore her.

Orange Cornmeal Crisps

(adapted from Family Fun magazine, December/January 2011 issue)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 to 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped (double this amount if you want to make all the cookies with cranberries)

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 organic orange
  • pinch of fine sea salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup of the cornmeal, the baking powder, and the salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture, zest, and orange extract and mix until it comes together as dough. Divide dough in half and form one half into a 12-inch, 1 1/2-inch wide log. Mix the cranberries into the other half of the dough. That dough will be a little stickier than the first half.

Make another log with the second half of the dough. Wrap each log in parchment paper (wax paper or plastic wrap will do as well) and chill until firm, about 1 hour in the refrigerator or 20 minutes in the freezer.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough logs in the remaining 1/4 cup of cornmeal. (I would skip that step next time. I thought it made the final cookies a little bit gritty.) Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake until the cookies are a deep golden brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. (You can see that I did not cook them that long as I prefer a softer cookie.)

Cool the cookies on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies with the cranberries have beautiful flecks or red throughout.

To make the glaze, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, zest, 1/4 cup of the orange juice, and the salt. If needed, add more juice, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze has a flowing consistency. Spoon a few teaspoons of the glaze onto each cookie. Allow to set before storing in airtight containers.

The texture of these cookies remind me of scones that I’ve bought from Trader Joe’s before. Especially the cranberry-orange ones. The magazine also suggested that you could use blood oranges for the glaze to give them a rosey hue.

No one in my family seemed even the slightest bit interested in these cookies. That’s okay because I was giving them all away. I saved a few for myself because I liked them so much.