Thursday, December 15, 2011

Perfection in a Cookie

tootsThere is nothing that brings memories of my Grandma Toots rushing back more than baking her orange cookies.  Well, maybe the mixed up telling of an off-color joke, but that’s just not very grandmotherly, now is it?  (Sorry, Toots!) She would gush about these cookies and how pretty they are.  Also, she was proud of how well they freeze.  I’ve never frozen them.  My husband makes sure they find a good home.
Orange Rind
Anyway, as a kid, I remember going to see her in the summer and she’d have a plate of orange cookies out.  And I, being the picky little turd that I was, refused to eat them because of the orange rind.  I was, quite obviously, deranged.

As I got older, and less of a spaz about food texture, I realized how yummy they are.  And then when I got even older, married and had my son, I decided I needed to start baking them.  Gram sent me the recipe and I still have it in my recipe box, in her handwriting, full of warnings and admonitions.  DON’T LET THEM GET TOO BROWN.

There were several Christmases when she was able to help me bake them.  She hovered over me, like a disapproving school marm, critiquing the size and color of the cookies and the consistency of my frosting.  Gram passed away a few years ago, but I still hear her when I make them.  I now use a handy little cookie scoop to keep the size and shape more consistent.  I may let my frosting get a little too runny.  But I never, ever let them get too brown. 

Grandma Toots’ Orange Cookies (Toots is like foot, not boot.)

·         2 C. sugar
·         2 eggs
·         1 C. buttermilk or sour cream
·         1 C. Crisco
·         2 medium oranges
·         2 tsp. baking powder
·         1 tsp. baking soda
·         Dash of salt
·         4 ½ C. flour, sifted

Grate rind of oranges.  Set aside 1 tbsp. for frosting.  Juice oranges and set juice aside.  Mix sugar and Crisco (beat well.) Add eggs, orange juice and rind, beat well.  Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together and add to mixture, alternating with sour cream (or buttermilk.)  Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.  Makes 7-8 dozen.  Don’t let the cookies get too brown! 

Ready to Bake

Fresh from the oven

Frost with Ornamental Frosting
Ornamental Frosting

·         ¼ C. Margarine, softened
·         4 C. sifted powdered sugar
·         2 egg whites
·         1 tsp. vanilla
·         ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
·         1-2 tsp. milk
·         Orange rind

Mix margarine and sugar.  Beat well.  Add unbeaten egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar.  Beat thoroughly.  Add milk and beat until it is of spreading consistency.  Mix in orange rind.

Frost.  Try not to lick your fingers.  Or lick them and keep it a secret.  It's your call.  Enjoy!
My Grandma's Orange Cookies


  1. This made me smile and miss Toots. But mostly, it made miss you. Let's bake together and hang out soon.

  2. Aw. That is a sweet post. I have a 3 ring binder with all my Grandma Pauline's recipes in her handwriting. Every so often I will make one of her specialties. RIP Toots and Pauline. We miss you.

  3. I bet Pauline has some fantastic stuff in that binder!