Introduction: Crumbly Almond Orange Cookies

These oranges cookies have been a Christmas staple growing up, and each year my mom and I continue with our annual tradition making them. Although they can be a little tricky to assemble, with a bit of patience, the end result is delicious. This year these cookies didn't even last us a week!


400g flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

200g butter

1 egg

125g sugar

1 package vanilla sugar

For the Filling:

150g ground almonds

150g sugar

Zest from one orange

Juice from 1 - 2 oranges

For the Glaze:

80g icing sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice (freshly squeezed)

Step 1: Mixing the Butter and Flour

In a medium bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Take the butter and cut it into small pieces and add it to the flour/baking powder mixture. With your hands, work the butter into the flour/baking powder until it looks like little crumbs.

Step 2: Finishing the Dough

Make a little valley in the butter/flour mixture and add the egg. Using your index finger, break the egg and slightly mix it with the butter/flour mixture, then add in the remaining ingredients (sugar and vanilla sugar). The dough will look very crumbly. Once all of the ingredients have been combined, place the dough on a flat, clean surface and kneed it until it holds together. Place it in the fridge for about an hour to make it easier to work with.

Step 3: Making the Filling

In a small bowl, combine the ground almonds, sugar and orange zest. Slowly, start adding in the juiced oranges, mixing it as you go. You don't want the filling to be too liquid, or else it will just run out of the cookies. Not enough liquid makes it hard to spread, so it is important to slowly add the orange juice to get that perfect consistency. It should spread like jam.

Step 4: Assembly and Baking

Take your dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. As the dough is crumbly, it is easiest to roll out one half directly on the backside of a cookie sheet, instead of transferring it. Now it's time to add the filling. Make sure to spread it evenly across the rolled out dough.

Now this is where things get a little tricky and require a lot of patience. The second half of the dough needs to be placed onto the first. Roll out the second half onto a sheet of parchment. From here, you have two options:

  • The way my mom has been doing it for years, is to roll up the dough and parchment paper onto the rolling pin and then unroll it onto the first dough. This has proven to be quite a headache every year and since the dough is very crumbly, it doesn't always stay together (see pictures).
  • My husband has a different method that he found out that seems to work much better and is more consistent. Instead of using the rolling pin, place the parchment and dough on a cutting board, then pull the parchment around the edge of the cutting board and back along the bottom. This works like a conveyor belt that slides the dough off nicely. This seems to work better overall.

Once the top has been put in place, use a fork to poke holes all over the dough. This will ensure that you don't get big bubbles in your cookies. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes at 200 C (390 F).

Step 5: Glaze and Enjoy!

While the cookies are baking, combine the icing sugar and orange juice to make the glaze. Mix it with a spoon until it's smooth. Once the cookies are done baking, let them rest for 2 minutes then spread the glaze evenly over the top of the warm cookies. I find that using a brush works best for this. Cut into diamonds and enjoy with a big glass of milk!

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