The BEST sugar cookies - cut out orange sugar cookies are flavored with orange zest and brandy for the perfect Christmas time recipe.
A really good sugar cookie recipe is a MUST for holidays, so today I am sharing with you no-fail perfect Cut Out Orange Sugar Cookies. They are crisp on the edges with a tender slightly chewy center. These cookies are buttery and not overly sweet and flavored with vanilla, orange zest, and a secret ingredient ... brandy. Putting booze in cookies is perfect fine during the holidays , right? Right. (don't worry, the alcohol burns off during the baking process, so these cookies are kid safe!)
For me, sugar cookies are great any time of the year. They are so versatile and can be cut into whatever shape you wish. Swap out the orange zest with lemon in the summer, or use almond extract in place of brandy during the spring. Prefer your sugar cookies plain? Just use vanilla. Any way you make these cookies, they will become your new go-to sugar cookie recipe.
They can be decorated with a simple glaze, or a royal icing. I won't disapprove if you dunk them in some melted dark chocolate either!
Cut Out Orange Sugar Cookies
Here's what you'll need:
- egg + egg yolk
- orange zest
The cookie dough can be made in a stand mixer or using an electric mixer. Make sure to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Once the dough is formed, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. This will make rolling out a lot easier.
These cookies are great to make ahead. I like to prepare a batch a couple of weeks before Christmas so that I can give them away as gifts. Keep the cookies in air tight containers, so that they remain fresh.
How to Freeze Sugar Cookies
When it comes to freezing sugar cookies, you have a couple different options.
- Freeze Baked Cookies: To freeze baked cookies, make sure you cool the cookies completely. Once cooled, store the cookies in an airtight freezer safe container, or use a vacuum seal food saving system for up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve, remove the cookies from the freezer and allow to reach room temperature. Decorate them as you'd like and enjoy!
- Freeze Cookie Dough: To freeze the cookie dough, shape into a flat disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place the wrapped dough into a freezer safe zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you want to bake the cookies, thaw the cookie dough in the refrigerator, then roll the dough, bake, and decorate as instructed in the recipe below.
12 Days of Cookies
Day 1: Chocolate Peppermint Cream Sandwich Cookies
Day 2: Chewy Walnut Spice Cookies with Honey Glaze
Day 3: Salted Chocolate Chunk Espresso Shortbread Cookies
Day 4: Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Day 5: Strawberry Almond Linzer Cookies
Day 6: Bakery Style White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Day 7: Cut-Out Pecan Sandies
Day 8: Fudgy Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Day 9: Homemade Milano Cookies
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
Cut Out Orange Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cup butter room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 ½ - 3 tablespoon water
- sanding sugar for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk, and beat to combine. Mix in vanilla, zest, and brandy.
- Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until dough forms. Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a disc, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out chilled cookie dough to ¼-inch thickness. Shape using desired cookie cutter. Transfer to prepared baking sheets and bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and repeat with any remaining dough.
- Place cookies on a cooling rack and cool completely before decorating.
- To make the glaze, whisk together confectioner's sugar, and water until smooth. Dip cookies into glaze and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
I made these last year and they were great. I don't see here how many cookies the recipe makes and I can't remember from last year.
Angelina Papanikolaou says
Hi! It depends on the size of your cookie cutter. If you use a larger shape, you will get around 18-24 cookies.
Marycarol J Stout says
These were amazing! I made them a few months ago for a "citrus" themed function. When doubling the recipe I used the zest of 4 oranges and then juiced them and strained the juice. Then I reduced the juice until it was a bit less than 2 T (it was very thick). I added just enough Grand Marnier to make 2T. The cookies had an intense orange flavor that people loved! I cut them into round shapes and finished them with orange sanding sugar (to resemble oranges) and added an icing leaf. I'm going to make them again for Christmas but this time I'm going to drizzle them with some dark chocolate. Thanks for the terrific orange cookie!!!
Do you not need baking soda or powder for this recipe?
Looking forward to making this recipe!
Hi Brenda! No, there is no baking powder or baking soda in this recipe. Enjoy!
This cookie is REALLY good and there are no "gotchas" as you make them. I used the recipe and orange food coloring to make Halloween jack-o-lanterns using my cookie/stamp. I also used orange juice instead of brandy and the zest of 2 oranges. My only tip would be to put the zest and sugar in a food processor so the zest gets broken up- I don't work with zest often enough to think of it in advance. I have quite a few "hairy" pumpkins. Lol.
Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In a separate bowl cream butter until fluffy; add sugars, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
Do you think you can add Grand Marnier in place of the brandy?
Yes! Grand Marnier would be delicious in these cookies!!
Can you omit the brandy for all variations of the cookie?
Yes you can! You can replace it with vanilla extract or 1 tbsp of orange juice.
Can your cookie recipes be cut in half?
Yes it can!