RECIPE: Christmas Thyme Orange Cookies

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Christmas Thyme Orange Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened slightly
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar (not packed)
    1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Colored sugar, raw sugar or favorite buttercream icing for decorating*

In a large bowl with electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until blended. Add egg and two extracts and mix well. Add orange zest and thyme and mix again. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add slowly to butter mixture, mixing until it’s all combined and blended. Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap or covered container and refrigerate at least 1-3 hours until firm.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 375°F. Roll one-half of dough on lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick. Cut with small to medium cookie cutters. Sprinkle with sugar if desired (or leave plain if decorating with icing.) Place cookies on lightly greased (with butter or shortening) cookie sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden brown on bottom and just barely a hint of brown on edges. Remove cookies to wire rack. Once cooled, frost/decorate as desired. Store cookies in tightly covered container for up to 3 days or freeze (uniced) for up to 3 months. Ice after removing from freezer.

Makes about 50 cookies. (Depends on size of your cookie cutters, though).

* Kim’s Favorite Buttercream Icing:

  • 1 cup butter (or ½ and ½ butter and shortening)
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla, regular pure vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 box (16 oz. roughly 4 cups sifted) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • (Add in orange zest and/or thyme for these Christmas Thyme Cookies if desired).

Whip butter and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar in batches along with milk. Stir in herbs/zest if desired. Color if desired. Store leftover icing in tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe by culinary dietitian Kim Galeaz, RDN CD