I was thinking about blood oranges the other day. I mean, can you blame me? They're gorgeous!
I realized I'd had blood orange juice and blood orange-flavored things before, but never actually held one. It took a bit of searching, but Meghan found some at a specialty store near our house, and I then had no choice but to figure out something to make with them. It wasn’t a question, but a personal challenge. I thought about flavor combinations and what would be interesting, and inspiration struck while Meghan was watching Downton Abbey. She loves the show, and I like watching rich people be naughty, so naturally my mind wandered to flower-based confections and how they have largely fallen out of favor, and now here we are: deconstructed blood orange marmalade complemented by rose buttercream!
These cookies were an experiment from start to finish, but came out tasting better than I had hoped. Even Meghan, openly not a cookie person, was hooked after one bite. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make my night. The dough’s pale pink hue was a nice surprise, though much of it cooked off in the oven, but could be increased with a more concentrated juice or some red food coloring. That plus some sexy rose buttercream, and voila, a perfect Valentine’s Day cookie (if you’re into that sort of thing)!
⅓ C. non-dairy butter (5 ⅓ T.)
⅔ C. sugar
1 flax gel egg (3 ½ T. of gel, recipe here)
¼ C. blood orange juice, reduced (~ 3 oranges)
1 ½ C. flour (GF mix example here)
1 ¼ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
3-4 T. candied blood orange rind, chopped (here is the recipe I used; just cut in half for 2-3 blood oranges)
½ C. non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance instead of the cheap stuff here, as EB has a better flavor and texture)
1 ½ C. confectioners sugar
1 ¼ t. rose extract
½ t. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Prep time: ~1 hr.
Cook time: 10-15 min.
Yield: 20 cookies
Follow the linked recipe to make the candied citrus - but don’t toss them in the granulated sugar yet - and juice the oranges into a small pot on the stove. Cook on medium-high until reduced by half, which should leave you with about ¼ C. (4 T.) of concentrate. Let the juice cool with the candied rinds, and preheat oven to 375. Combine butter and flour in a stand mixer, then add the egg and blood orange juice. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl, then mix into the dough. Chop 3-4 T. of the candied citrus and combine with dough. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment-lined or greased baking sheets and bake for 8-12 min. or until edges are golden. Remove and let cool.
For the icing, you will need a hand mixer or the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, and non-dairy butter straight from the fridge. Cream the butter thoroughly, then sift in the confectioners sugar ½ C. at a time and mix on low or low-medium speed. Sprinkle a bit of salt in and add the rose and vanilla extracts, mixing until fully combined. If you want a creamier texture, you can add 1-2 T. of coconut cream.
Assembly: with a small spatula, apply a dollop of buttercream to each cookie and top with 4 or 5 pieces of candied citrus.
Here’s to a sweet Valentine’s Day, and all the Downton Abbey we can squeeze in from now until then!