Butter Cookies with Mandarin Oranges

Butter Cookies with Mandarin Oranges

Well, it’s already the 2nd Sunday of Advent! I’m going to spare you the *how did it happen so fast*-talk etc etc (although we all think it), and in stead say that I’m getting more and more into Christmas Spirit every day. Yesterday I went to the opening of the Christmas Marked in Ålesund, which is conveniently located in an old tunnel between two parts of town (writing it down it sounds dodgy, but it really isn’t) – and it was really nice!?. I bought a few things and a few things inspired me to try my own version (apple-gløgg!) so it was win-win!

So, while I work on more Christmas Cookies behind the scenes*, I’ll give you this recipe for butter cookies with mandarin oranges, a truly simple and quick recipe that will get YOU in Christmas Spirit, too!

*It’s been so dark and gloomy here the whole week, so I haven’t been able to take good pictures. I only take pictures in natural light. The pictures of this post are not perfect either, but I decided that they are good enough for today ?!

This recipe is based on this one (only in Norwegian at the moment), which again is adapted from Rosemary Butter Cookies from Martha Stewart. As mentioned, they are really easy to make, a roll and slice kind of cookie (although I rolled out half of the dough to make square cookies, which looks quite sophisticated if you ask me….) I also dipped some of them in melted chocolate, but I prefer them nature.

Zested mandarin oranges

Of course you can substitute Clementines or other citrus fruits, let me know what other kinds of variations you come up with!


Butter Cookies with Mandarin Oranges Recipe


  • 225 g butter, softened
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ca. a 300 g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tbs zest of mandarin oranges or clementines
  •  to finish: 3 ts sugar mixed with 1-2 tbs mandarin zest, egg white or water to brush

How to

If you can’t find organic mandarin oranges/clementines, you have to scrub the ones you have real good before zesting them. I used 5 mandarin oranges in order to get 2 ½ tablespoons of zest, so be prepared to eat a lot of mandarins that day!

Cream together the butter, sugar and mandarin zest until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well before adding the flour. The dough will be quite sturdy.



Divide the dough into 2 parts and form each into a log of about 5-6 cm in diameter. This is easiest to do with a piece of plastic foil. If you’d like the cookies to have a perfect round shape, you can put each log in an empty toll of paper towels, that will preserve the shape. Put the logs in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but you can also freeze them at this point. In fact, I usually make one log right away and freeze the other one so that I have something to offer in case I have friends over for tea.

Preheat your oven to 180°C.


Take you logs of dough out of the fridge. Brush each log with egg white or water and roll them in the sugar/zest mixture. Cut slices of dough of a little more than 0.5 cm and put them on a cookie sheet. Alternatively, as I did here, roll out your dough on a thin layer of flour, cut squares (I even used a ruler this time, it felt very OCD, but looks great, I think!), use your finger to brush a bit of water on the edges and then dip the edges of the cookie into the sugar/zest mixture.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes until slightly golden around the edges. Let cool on a wire rack.



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