Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cream Cheese Filled Orange Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Sweetened cream cheese, spiked with Grand Marnier, makes the perfect filling for a fresh orange pecan cookie sandwich, topped with orange glaze and sprinkled with more pecans. This cookie has three components but all are easy to make and easy to assemble, making a showpiece cookie you’d be pleased to serve, even at a fancy luncheon.

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange challenge is sandwich cookies, which leaves the flavors and fillings wide open to a combination of ingredients. This is the sort of challenge I love. I considered all kinds of crazy combinations before coming back to one I knew would work. Cream cheese and fresh oranges. I wanted a cookie that crumbled rather than smooshed like cake when bitten into, and a filling that was sweet but with a bite to complement the crunchy cookie. And the pecans? Well, if you’ve been reading along here a while, you know I love to add pecans whenever possible. These cookies are sweet, without being too sweet, if you know what I mean.

Many thanks to Laura of The Spiced Life who is in charge of this great group. Make sure you scroll on down past the recipe to see how my fellow Creative Cookie Exchange members navigated this cookie sandwich challenge.

Ingredients for 12-18 sandwich cookies (depending on how thin you slice them before baking)
For the cookies:
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1/4 cup, firmly packed, or 50g brown sugar
1 egg
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (Save the rest for the glaze.)
1 1/4 cup or 190g flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans, or 160g divided
(1/4 cup or 35g in dough, rest for rolling dough in.)

For the filling:
4 oz or 115g cream cheese, slightly oftened
1/4 cup or 60g butter, slightly softened
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 1/4 cups or 160g powdered sugar

For the orange glaze:
½ cup or 60g confectioners’ sugar
3-4 teaspoons fresh orange juice

Cream butter and sugars together, beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg, orange zest and juice and beat well.

Add in the flour, salt and baking soda and beat till fully combined.

Now add in 1/4 cup or 35g of the chopped pecans and beat again till incorporated.

Cover your work space with a large piece of cling film and sprinkle on the remaining chopped pecans.

Use a scoop or spoon to make one line of dough along the beginning of the pecans.

Use the cling film to roll the dough in the pecans and smooth the dough into a round log.

Once the dough log is covered, roll it to one side of the cling film and gather the remaining pecan pieces into a bowl and set aside. We’ll use some of them for decorating the cookies later.

Roll the log up as tightly as you can manage in the cling film and transfer it to a pan or cutting board and put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least three hours, until it is firm.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking trays by lining them with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Remove half the dough log at a time from the refrigerator, slice it into circles and place them on your prepared cookies sheets.

I cut mine a bit thick and ended up with about 26 slices, which seemed like a goodly number until I remembered that I was making sandwich cookies. Cut them a little thinner for more cookies.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Make the filling and the glaze
To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together until smooth.

For the orange glaze, add fresh orange juice to the powdered sugar just a teaspoon at a time, until you reach a good consistency that runs a little but won’t pour off the cookies. You may not need all the orange juice.

Once the cookies are completely cool, turn them golden bottom up and spoon or pipe on enough filling on half of them to cover, about the same thickness as the cookies.

Top with the remaining cookies.

Spoon a little glaze on the top of each cookie and sprinkle with some of the leftover chopped pecans.

If your home is cool, these shouldn’t need chilling to set up. If you are in a warm climate, you will want to store the filled cookies in the refrigerator. This will make them less crunchy, but still delicious.


Are you a sandwich cookie fan? Have a look at all of the wonderful cookies we have for you today!

If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. 

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes - be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). We post all together on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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