What's Baking: Citrus Sugar Cookies with a White Chocolate Drizzle

While we haven't been bombarded with snow like the East Coast has, the temperatures have definitely swooped way below zero of late. My one ray of sunshine in this wintry tundra landscape has been an endless intake of citrus fruits.

And, while, of course you could just drink freshly-squeezed orange juice or peel and eat an orange whole, I have chosen to instead incorporate fresh orange zest and orange juice into a sugar cookie. How's that sugar detox going, you might ask? Let's not talk about it -- and eat these delicious orange-flavored sugar cookies instead. :)

Citrus Sugar Cookies with a White Chocolate Drizzle (printer-friendly version)
makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on cookie cutter size

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange juice
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/3 cup white chocolate chips or wafers, for melting

1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then beat in the vanilla extract, almond extract, orange zest, and orange juice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in several small batches while stirring at low speed. Continue stirring until all of the flour is nearly incorporated. Then stir by hand to completely incorporate the flour.
3. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Pat one of the portions into a circle, then roll flat (1/4" or 1/8" thick) between two sheets of parchment paper. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
4. Refrigerate the rolled-out dough for at least one hour. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to five days.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into different shapes. Place the cut-out dough onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silpat.
6. Bake for 8-15 minutes (depending on cookie thickness). Remove the cookies from the oven once the edges are set and just beginning to turn gold in color. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
7. After the cookies have cooled, melt the white chocolate (I used the microwave), and then drizzle over top the cookies. (I like to use a squeeze bottle, a fork would work, too.)