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Buttery Orange Sugar Cookies

My husband's grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection.—Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    4 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in orange zest and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk remaining ingredients; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  • Shape level tablespoons of dough into balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 68 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • Marilyn
    Feb 15, 2021

    When I saw the ingredients, I thought the cookie recipe was probably made with what was on hand-perhaps eggs for example were in short supply. The recipe is probably great as is, this is how I made them though., using what was on hand, and what I wanted to use up..(keeping the other ingredients the same)...Used 1 cup white flour, 1 cup ww. pastry flour., I also added one egg, about 1 tablespoon of juice from the orange. I used 1/2 cup butter, 6T coconut oil, and 2 Tablespoons blood-orange infused olive oil. I also, as someone mentioned, rolled into balls, and pressed lightly with the bottom of a sugar-coat glass. They were fantastic! I think that's the beauty of home cooking, you can, with your experiences, tailor a recipe to your own taste.

  • Dave
    Feb 14, 2021

    I just made these and my family loved them! I used all purpose flour and added extra zest (2 teaspoons) and extra juice (1 teaspoon) of fresh squeezed juice from the orange. So fragrant and tasty!

  • Bob
    Feb 11, 2021

    Horrible cookies! I wonder if you actually test the recipes that you post, as none of the recipes I've ever tried on your Taste of Home site are any good. I'm done with you.

  • Nicholas
    Dec 26, 2020

    These are the most fragrant and most delicious of all the cookies I've tried. Instead of being heavy and dense, these cookies are light and fluffy, though I had to make a few changes: I only used white flour, I added an egg to the mixture, and I added two teaspoons of fresh orange juice for additional freshness (and a teaspoon of flour to balance it out).

  • SKJ2529
    Nov 14, 2019

    These are delicious. I was a bit concerned that there wasn't an egg in the ingredients, but they came out perfect. Light and crispy. I made them twice. The first time as written, and the second time I replaced 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat. This is a keeper. In answer to another reviewers question, I used Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour that I got at Safeway.

  • Sue Zappa
    Dec 13, 2016

    A delicious & easy cookie! Had to make a few changes to it, though. I used only all-purpose white flour. You do need to add one egg to the butter & sugar mixture because the dough was too dry. (I'd wonder about the absence of an egg!) Also, I rolled the dough into 1" balls & then used a glass dipped in sugar to lightly press them. And, DO NOT let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes! I had to put my air-bake pans back in the oven to get hot so I could get them off easily! Delicious, crispy cookies with a wonderful orange flavor.

  • Chargett
    Sep 26, 2016

    Where in the world do you find rye flour and why is that kind necessary for a cookie??

  • littlemimi
    Aug 4, 2016

    These sound delicious. Do the balls flatten out when baking? I'm worried about having nice, crispy cookies.