This is my grandmother Holt's Christmas cookie recipe that I wouldn't dare try to alter to make a healthier version; some traditions just need to stay as they are!
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
Grate the rind of 3 oranges, and use half in cookie recipe, and half in icing recipe
Preheat oven to 400; grease and flour cookie sheets.
cream butter, sugar and eggs; add flour, salt, and baking soda together, alternate with orange juice. (Beat on low when adding the flour and orange juice or else you will have a MESS!) Stir in orange rind.
Drop teaspoon full onto greased and floured baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 10- 12 minutes.
“If cookies flatten out, add more flour.”……is what Gracie told me; although I have never had to do that! :-)
Icing recipe (as told by Gracie)
1/2 box powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange peel
I have never had much luck with icing this way, so I use this recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook;
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice
Mix powdered sugar and butter. Stir in orange juice. Beat until smooth.
This makes a very thick buttercream frosting; so if you like a stiff frosting, you can leave it like this; I prefer the icing for these cookies to be a little softer, so I add more orange juice at this point until I get the consistency I like.
This cookie recipe is a single batch; yielding about 50 cookies. The icing recipe I gave you I think is enough for almost a double batch…..I usually ice them until the icing runs out because my husband loves them without the icing as well!