My grandma is famous for a lot of things. Most recently for not being very nice and not taking her medication, but also for her Orange-Sour Cream Drops. As a child I would spend many afternoons at her house around Christmas time making batch after batch of orange cookies, peanut brittle, and a cotton candy-like creation called Divinity.
Her orange cookies are noteworthy because of their two types of tang; the first from the citrus zest and juice and the second from copious amounts of sour cream. They also contain large amounts of butter which give them a melt-in-your-mouth quality, especially if you sneak one straight out of the oven—to die for people, I’m telling you.
I dream of these cookies often. I have a very, very, soft spot for them that might only be matched by my father, whose love of peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches I also share. Great gourmands think alike, am I right?
The problem with Grandma Phyl’s Orange Drops is they are kind of a pain-in-the-butt to make, there’s lots of juicing and zesting and frosting involved. So I was psyched when I came across a very similar recipe in an old issue of Everyday Food.
They are basically a Snickerdoodle recipe with citrus swapped in for the cinnamon and vanilla and a simple little icing spread on top. They have soft centers and delicate, crisp edges with a light lemon and tangerine combo that is irresistible.
They don’t have the heft of Grandma Phyl’s cookies, and they are certainly not as intensely orange-y, but they will most certainly subdue my orange cookie craving until Christmas or at least through spring.Print
Soft Citrus Drop Cookies
Adapted from Everyday Food
- Yield: 5 Dozen Cookies 1x
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated tangerine zest, divided
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed tangerine juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F and arrange racks in the lower and upper third of the oven. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to break up any lumps.
- Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add half the tangerine zest and half the lemon zest and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl then add the eggs in one at a time. Add flour mixture and beat until incorporated.
- Scoop into rounded tablespoons and place about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly golden, but cookies are still soft in the middle, about 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Whisk together the tangerine and lemon juices, remaining zest, and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread icing over each cookie and let stand at least 1 hour to allow the icing to harden slightly. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.