Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Orange Clouds

One thing I love about Arizona is the sky. From the impossibly turquoise blue of afternoon to the vibrant colors of our sunsets which color the mountains red and orange there's just nothing quite like it. One of the most beautiful sunsets I ever saw was a few months after moving to the state. We were in Avra Valley just across the Tucson Mountains with friends. As the sun set over the distant mountains the sky became an incredible palette of oranges, reds, and purples. It was a stunning site and I was lucky enough to capture it with my camera.

I'm reminded of those beautiful skies by the name of this delightful cookie. I call them Orange Clouds not because of color precisely but because they have a delicious orange flavor imparted by orange zest and when frosted with a wonderfully thick vanilla frosting appear to be little clouds of sheer delight. Soft and cakey, the texture delights as the cookie almost melts in your mouth. I could eat these by the handfuls! If you enjoy nuts you can easily sprinkle them with some small pecan or walnut pieces. I wouldn't put nuts into the batter, though, because it would interfere with that wonderful light melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Give the Orange Clouds a try and enjoy a little bit of the desert sunset.

Recipe: Orange Clouds

Description: Light and tender cookies flavored with orange and iced with a fluffy vanilla icing.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbs. orange zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese and orange zest and beat until combined. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to cream cheese/butter mixture alternating with milk. Begin and end with flour mixture.
  4. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop drop onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges just begin to brown, about 12-14 minutes.
  5. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For frosting combine all ingredients in clean mixer and beat on medium high speed until the mixture is light and creamy. Spread generously over cookies with a butter knife or icing spatula. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
  7. Store cookies for up to 4 days in an airtight container to maintain soft texture.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 14 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 3 dozen
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Copyright © 2012.
Recipe by Sugar Pies.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

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