These biscuits (cookies) came to be when I tried to re-create a favourite of mine from my childhood (circa 1970’s). They were an Arnotts biscuit in the shape of a flower with a hole in the middle and orange sprinkles. My grandmother always had them for our visits and for the life of me I cannot remember what they were called. I have the distinct feeling they were meant to have an orange flavour but if my memory serves me correctly they were very sweet with a teensy bit of tart/very manufactured orange taste – and I loved them.
At any rate, my attempts to re-create these favourites went slightly awry and I ended up with the adult version – a light and buttery biscuit with quite a strong Cointreau glaze – totally scrumptious and perfect for your afternoon cup of tea.
You know, I once met a man at a party who told me he was a biscuit designer for Arnotts – he was no more a biscuit designer than I was a truck driver, but (aside from thinking he was a lunatic) it made me think what a fun job it might be.
311 grams/11 ounces (2 1/3 cups + 2 tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour, and more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
227 grams/8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
113 grams/4 ounces (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. With a stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and zest until well blended, for around 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix for a further minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal mounds on sheets of plastic wrap. Work the dough until smooth and form into two slightly flattened disks. Wrap in the plastic and place in your freezer for 30 – 40 minutes. (or your dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350f. Line 2 or more cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Dust with additional flour as needed. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out shapes. Arrange them about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Gather, re-freeze, re-roll and cut the dough scraps as many times as you need. Place into your freezer again for a further 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, one sheet at a time, until the edges are lightly golden, for around 9 to 11 minutes. Let the biscuits cool on the sheet about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine the icing sugar, Cointreau, cream and zest. Mix until well blended and smooth. The glaze should be slightly runny in consistency, add a little more cream if you need to.
Place around 1/2 teaspoon of the glaze on each biscuit and spread with a spoon and decorate with a little orange zest if you wish.
Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours or until the glaze is set. They can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.
Notes: This dough is very buttery and requires alot of freezer time in between cutting out.
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.