For Mother’s Day, I’m making my own twist on one of my mom’s favorite desserts: orange Creamsicles. Instead of this ice cream truck classic, I’m sandwiching vanilla ice cream between my oh-so-yummy citrus butter cookies. Cue the sugar coma.
Seriously, even without the ice cream filling, these cookies are some of my biggest crowd-pleasers. The recipe makes a load of cookies (I stopped counting at 30), and while it’s easy to cut in half, don’t be surprised if the whole batch disappears. These cookies are light and summery, chewy but the tiniest bit crumbly, and all-around delicious.
I think the secret to their perfect texture is the bit of cornmeal in the batter. When I first read this recipe by Baker’s Royale for Better Homes and Gardens this addition was a bit of a head-scratcher—but after one bite, I was convinced. Of course, if you don’t have cornmeal in the house you can absolutely skip it, but I HIGHLY recommend including it. So good.
Citrus Butter Cookies (about 34 cookies)
- 3/4 cup of butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. fresh squeezed citrus juice (orange, tangerine, or clementine would work!)
- 1 tsp. of citrus zest
- 3/4 cup of olive oil (you won’t taste it, I promise!)
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 4 cups of AP flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar for rolling
If you click through to the original recipe there’s also a recipe for a glaze. I’ve made the glaze in the past, and it’s a nice touch, but these cookies really don’t need it. (Especially if you’re planning on having two with a scoop of ice cream in the middle!)
To make the cookies, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed until creamy. In a smaller bowl, whisk the sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Then beat the sugar mixture into the butter until fluffy.
Next, beat in the eggs, vanilla, citrus juice, and zest until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the oil until the batter is smooth. Then, beat in the flour and cornmeal. Cover the bowl, and chill the dough for 30-60 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 300°F. Remove the dough from the fridge, and scoop out heaping tablespoon-sized balls. Roll the balls in sugar, and place them on un-greased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are barely brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, before transferring them to a cooling rack.
To turn these babies into ice cream sandwiches, simply place a scoop of ice cream between two cookies. Serve immediately, or wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat.
And the diet starts again tomorrow…