Two orange treats in one week? Yes. Because it’s flu season or something and everyone is sick, but we aren’t in our house and I’m going to say it’s because of desserts with fresh orange zest in them. And since these orange cream cheese cookies also have dark chocolate drizzled on them, they have antioxidants. So these are a feel good, stay good, taste good, almost health food… ish.
They taste really good though, and if you are a cake cookie person these are right up your alley. In fact, the cream cheese in these cookies is probably the secret ingredient to why they taste so good. Since cream cheese is a little salty, it cuts the sugar and rounds out the flavors perfectly. Also, have you ever had cream cheese frosting on orange cake? Amazing.
With that kind of pairing, there is no way these cookies wouldn’t be good, and gone, way too quickly. It took willpower and reminding myself that there’s a half marathon in less than two weeks to keep me from eating like 8 of these in a sitting. Since I took the photos on a Sunday afternoon during nap time for the Princess, the Godfather kept walking past my set grabbing cookies that weren’t actively involved in shooting. They’re just so cute, and not too sweet, and the cream cheese with the fresh orange and the dark chocolate is such a satisfying combination.
Frankly, these cookies restored my faith in cookie baking. I go through phases when it comes to baking treats, and I was into cookies for a little while in the spring, but then that fizzled for me. I just wasn’t inspired, but that’s a bad thing when you’re a food blogger and planning for Christmas baking starts in September.
During a brainstorming session where I force everyone in the house (and sometimes a few friends not in the house) to throw every random idea they can think of at me, a cream cheese cookie came to mind. And because this Florida girl loves oranges in everything, it had to be an orange cream cheese cookie. Then I added chocolate to make the flavor nostalgic for me. My parents really liked the chocolate oranges that you’d whack against a table at the correct spot and the “slices” would break apart for sharing. I remember buying them at the drug store as a kid and everyone in the family eating a slice after dinner, then we’d wrap the rest and refrigerate it for later. These cookies are my way of baking those memories from the dinner table… and they are wonderful.
- 1¼ c all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 8 ounces cream cheese (1 package), softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 large egg
- dark chocolate candy melts for drizzle
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and orange zest until fluffy.
- Mix in the egg. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- In another bowl, sift together the salt, flour, and baking powder.
- Stir the flour mixture into the butter and sugar and mix until just combined.
- Drop the cookies in tablespoons on the baking sheets and bake 11-13 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through baking. The cookies are done when they are a very light golden around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the pan 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- Drizzle with dark chocolate candy. They're best enjoyed within 2 days of baking, store loosely covered at room temperature.