Butter Cookies with Candied Orange Peel

A light buttery treat!

These cookies are the perfect ‘just sweet enough’ dessert. They go great with coffee or tea, and the recipe makes plenty so you can have a couple in one sitting! If you’ve never candied oranges before, or tried them as a dessert, they’re worth a shot. If nothing else, making them makes your kitchen smell wonderful! I was reading about oranges and how people came to candy the peels. The book, “Oranges: A Global History” by Clarissa Hyman highlights how early oranges were being candied. “…the Seville orange season in the seventeenth century seems to have enviably run from November to April, and the fruit could be eaten year-round, ‘dried, crystallised, candied, stuffed, bottled…” (112). Hyman brings up a book from 1609 called Delights for Ladies where the author, “includes a recipe for candied orange peel in sugar and rosewater. Such candied or preserved ‘orangeadoes’ were a modish snack of the time, nibbled at the theatre or proffered in fashionable drawing rooms” (Hyman 112). I think the next rendition of these cookies is going to have to include rosewater candied orange peel! The base of these cookies was adapted from Joy of Cooking, I hope you give them a try.

Makes 40 cookies (depending on size)


Candied oranges

Orange peel cut into sections (I did about 5 sections per orange)

½ cup sugar, plus more for coating

½ cup water


2 sticks of butter, room temperature

⅔ cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ Tbsp orange zest

⅓ cup candied orange peel, chopped into small bits

1 egg

2 ½ cups flour

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking powder

Optional: if you want the cookies sweeter sprinkle some granulated sugar on top before they go in to bake

Candied oranges

1. The day before you want to make the cookies, prepare the candied orange peels.

2. Peel your oranges in the biggest sections you can, I had about 5 sections per orange. You can do one orange or many. This recipe uses ⅓ cup of candied oranges so 1 orange should be enough.

3. Boil a pot of water and boil the orange peel for 15 minutes. Drain them and repeat for another 15 minutes.

4. Add ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar to a pot, (use more sugar and water if candying more orange peels) bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Add the peel and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat and let the peels simmer for 45 minutes or until soft.

5. Place on a wire rack with a plate underneath to dry overnight.

6. The next day add ¼ cup sugar to a bowl and toss the orange peels to coat.


1. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer or bowl for a hand mixer. Beat until fluffy.

2. Add vanilla, orange zest, and candied orange peel. Mix to combine.

3. Add the egg, mix to combine

4. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl and mix until just coming together. You don’t want to overmix.

5. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap, store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahreinheit. Flour your rolling surface and roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into squares with a bench scraper or use cookie cutters. Reform and re-roll the dough, continue until all the dough is cut.

7. Place on a cookie sheet, they can be quite close because they don’t spread too much. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until slightly puffy and no longer shiny.

8. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Works Cited

Hyman, Clarissa. Oranges: a Global History. Reaktion Books, 2013.

Rombauer, Irma S., et al. Joy of Cooking. Scribner, 2019.