If you’ve got a bumper crop of fruit from your calamondin orange tree, here’s a calamondin recipe you’ll want in your arsenal. Calamondin Crinkle Cookies are perfect for Spring and make an ideal Easter Cookie!
What do you do when your mother gives you a bag full of calamondin oranges? Me? I get cooking. When Mom gave me this last bag, she assured me that “this was the end of the season”. She lied. Her trees are budding again — and more fruit is on the way. That’s a good thing, because after that calamondin pie and these Calamondin Crinkle Cookies, I’m thinking a calamondin cocktail is required in the not-too-distant future.
Before we get into the libations, though – let me remind you what makes calamondins special. First, their tiny… about the size of a walnut in its shell. Second, they’re actually a cross between a tangerine and a kumquat.
Third – they’re sweetly aromatic but are too tart to eat out of hand — about the same tartness level as a lemon or lime. Fourth – they’re super juicy for their size. These citrus gems are ALL JUICE, which makes them ideal for drinks, marinades, desserts, dressings — you name it.
This is a standard crinkle cookie recipe with a soft buttery dough, loaded with zest from those calamondins and doused with fresh juice. You can add one or two drops of yellow food coloring to add a bit more orange color to the cookies but it’s not necessary.
Use a small cookie scoop to measure out equal portions of dough and roll them into a ball. Dust the balls of dough with powdered sugar and rest them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When the cookies bake, they spread and create a lovely crinkly design. These cookies are lightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The citrus flavor is evident without being overpowering. In fact, I think it’s the olfactory sense that makes you think “citrus”. My friend, Natalie was emphatic that she could taste the calamondin, for me it was the smell. Either way, you can’t lose.
And aren’t they pretty? Bright and cheery, they remind me of springtime. Great for a quick afternoon snack, or tucked into a brown bag lunch.
After my last post, I had a lot of people asking where they could find calamondins. Well, they’re definitely not sold in the average grocery store. I’ve found several nurseries throughout Florida that carry these dwarf plants and here’s one that ships — though the trees cost about twice as much as what we can get them here for.
Calamondin Crinkle Cookies
These crinkle cookies straddle the line between cake and shortbread with a lovely citrus note from calamondin oranges -- a cross between tangerines and tart kumquats.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons zest from calamondin oranges (you can substitute lime or lemon if you can't find calamondins)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon calamondin juice from the zested oranges (or use lemon or lime juice)
- 2 drops yellow food coloring optional
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and zest. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time. Add the juice and food coloring and mix again. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mix, just until the flour is incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or until firm.
Use a one tablespoon measure to portion out dough. Roll each portion into a ball and set on a piece of parchment paper. Continue in this way, until all the dough is rolled into balls.
Add the confectioners sugar to a shallow bowl and roll each of the balls in the sugar until well coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets setting the balls about 2 inches apart, so there's room to spread.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container, separated by sheets of plastic wrap.
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