Orange Grove Cookies

June 04th, 2007  | Category: Cookies

Orange Cookie

Ever since my kitchen smelled like a lemon grove for a full day, I am looking for recipes to apply the technique I learned from Dorie’s book Baking: From My Home to Yours: Rubbing warmed up sugar and zest together in a bowl over simmering water.

I came up with a very basic cookie recipe that is transformed into something spectacular by this technique. Since I tried it with lemons, the next logical step was oranges. I zested two oranges, rubbed it with a cup of sugar and Voila! I was in Seville, standing in the middle of an orange grove, lambs bleating, the soft breeze kissing my cheek and carrying the smell of the freshly baked cookies.

It was that perfect on the first bite. I want to thank Dorie not only for the amazing books she wrote so far, but also for inspiring me even with tips and tricks between sentences.

Orange Grove Cookies

  • Zest of two oranges
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts (as whole)
  • 10 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • A handful of roughly chopped hazelnuts for decoration

* Yields 24 cookies

  1. Preheat your oven at 350 F.
  2. Zest two oranges and combine the zest with a cup of sugar in a medium pot over simmering water. When the sugar warms up, rub the zest and sugar together until the wonderful smell fills your kitchen.
  3. Transfer sugar mixture, flour, butter, 1 egg and hazelnuts in a food processor and process until fine.
  4. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutter.
  5. Crack the remaining egg in a small bowl and whisk until blended. Brush the top of the cookies with the egg and sprinkle with roughly chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 16-18 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Keep a close eye on the cookies as overbaking will make them very hard to bite!
    Never miss a recipe. Subscribe via email.


    1. 1 - Hande on June 4th, 2007

      I just came back from Istanbul this morning and was munching on some “portakal” cookies from “Inci” in Beyoglu when your post popped up. I think this might be the right spot to start my quest in recreating them.

    2. 2 - Patricia Scarpin on June 5th, 2007

      Cenk, I’ll be trying these, for sure – I’m a huge citrus fan and I think this recipe is fantastic!

    3. 3 - Nihan on June 5th, 2007

      Another must try receipe. My husband is going to love it. But what happened to your Turkish blog?

    4. 4 - Cenk on June 5th, 2007

      Hi Nihan,
      My Turkish blog is at

    5. 5 - Raspberry Debacle » Blog Archive » OPR: Cafe Fernando - Orange Grove Cookies on June 6th, 2007

      […] Apparently rubbing zest and sugar together over warm water helps to make delicious cookies? It sounds fun and the cookies look delicious, so I’m convinced. […]

    6. 6 - leonine19 on June 6th, 2007

      miam! i’ll b trying them! they seems so yummy!

    7. 7 - brilynn on June 8th, 2007

      I use the sugar and zest technique in everything now, I love it!

    8. 8 - sibel on September 27th, 2009

      I tried to bake those beauties. I was pretty lost on simmering water technique. I had no idea how much water to put. Unfortunately, I was able to use half of it so it turned out less sweet, I guess. Still I like them. Also, I made the coffee&hazelnut cookies. Amazing combination. Your recipes are the reason for my cooking&baking adventure which I pretty much disliked before. I am looking forward to seeing those moist peanut butter cookies.

    Leave a Comment