When it comes to Christmas ingredients, candied fruit is always present. Candied Orange Cookies are healthy and delicious; prepared with honey, brown sugar, oats, and cocoa. Who could resist?
These cookies are my attempt to include at least one semi-healthy recipe into this series. Even if you are a health enthusiast, everyone wants to indulge from time to time. Keep this recipe, Dear Reader. You can change it up to fit your mood very easily!
Now, it might come as no surprise to my readers that I’m back with a third installment of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas. Should you be new here, let me tell you a bit about how this works. This is my third annual Christmas cookie extravaganza. Like the previous two years, I will post a brand new Christmas cookie recipe for 24 consecutive days. Yes, that means Saturdays and Sundays too! For your reference, you can find links to the first two years further down the page.
Fresh off of my 12 Biscotti of Christmas series, I’m excited to get this new series started. Last year, I also did 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. Now, who’s ready to get started on this journey with me? Do you have honey on hand? Have you decided whether you’re using butter or coconut oil? Are you eggs at room temperature? Is your apron on and your oven preheated? Good! Let’s get to it!
CHRISTMAS COOKIES CAN BE HEALTHY TOO
These cookies are very low in calories and have very little sugar – only 1/4 cup of brown sugar. The addition of the honey helps to make Candied Orange Cookies sweet. You could substitute the butter for coconut oil and be totally in line with the coconut oil rage which health professionals suggest is a much healthier alternative.
Coconut oil is a little more expensive in terms of other oils that can be used in this cookie, but I really like the slight coconut flavour the oil adds. But, I tend to stick to butter for baking, because I always have it on hand. You will note that I used butter in my recipe, but feel free to change it up if you prefer.
If you decide to use coconut oil, be sure that it is softened and at room temperature. The coconut oil that I use is always in a solid state, even at room temperature. Additionally, you can substitute the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour too.
CHANGE THE FLAVOUR
These cookies offer the filling sensation of oatmeal, the comfort of a chewy, flavourful cookie, and the sweetness of candied orange peel. If you want, you could even add a little fresh lemon zest in the mix as well for added citrus flavour. I’ve even thought about topping these with a lemon icing drizzle, but tried to keep them as healthy as possible.
I have made these same cookies without any add-ins at all. If you prefer a plain cookie, the choice is yours. But, I like to add things to my cookies to make them bulkier and more filling. Any dried fruit will work in this recipe. Try raisins, strawberries, blueberries, or any candied fruit you want.
CANDIED ORANGE PEEL
The best place to find candied fruit is the Paradise Fruit Company. The company is located in Florida, but you can buy the products online. Whenever I bake with candied fruits or peels, I use Paradise product.
You can find candied cherries in grocery stores and baking supply shops, and I used to do that too. But the quality of the fruit, and especially the colour and taste, is so much better at Paradise. For this particular recipe, I used the candied orange peel.
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
If you plan to freeze these Candied Orange Cookies, you certainly can! Once they are completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. If you plan to give the frozen cookies as a gift, I would lay them out onto a wire cooling rack to thaw. Once thawed, pile into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon, or stack in a cookie tin/box.
As I said, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 100 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
Candied Orange Cookies
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup candied orange peel
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to cream together the flour, baking soda, brown sugar, cocoa, butter, eggs, honey, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Next, fold in the oats, 3/4 cup of the candied orange, and chocolate chips.
- Using a small cookie scoop, or ice cream scoop, to create mounds of cookie batter, position each cookie about two inches apart on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Top each cookie mound with a few pieces of the remaining candied orange.
- Bake for 14 minutes.
- Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool down.