Bruléed Orange Butter Cookies

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I knew that I needed to bring a knockout recipe to the food blogger cookie exchange that I attended last week, so I turned to these citrusy butter cookies. With a delicate crumb, a texture similar to soft shortbread, and a creme brulée-like smattering of burnt sugar that lightly shatters when you bite into it, Bruléed Orange Butter Cookies are a welcome contrast to the denser oatmeal and peanut butter cookies that are so prevalent this time of year. Although these cookies are a festive treat for the holidays, they make a delightful accompaniment to a cappuccino any time of the year.

icing.jpg brulee.jpg
While the burnt sugar topping is what takes these cookies to the next level, I understand that a kitchen torch isn’t exactly something that everyone has on hand. My first recommendation is to use this recipe as an excuse to get one – they can be found for under $20 and are also great for toasting the cheese on French onion soup. Alternately, you can brown the sugar under the broiler for 45 seconds; however, taking this approach will also melt the glaze and the cookies won’t look quite as pretty. Of course, they are incredible without the crunchy topping – just be sure to let the glaze fully harden (about 2 hours) before stacking them.


Bruléed Orange Butter Cookies
Yields 3 dozen

For the Cookies:

For the Icing:

2-1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. orange extract

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbs. heavy cream

8 oz. unsalted butter softened

1 Tbs. water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. orange zest

2 Tbs. orange zest

1 pinch salt

3 large egg yolks

1/8 cup turbinado sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract







To make the cookies: In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a second bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and zest on medium speed until well blended. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until blended. Add the flour and mix on until moist clumps form. Wrap in plastic and chill 40 minutes. Roll between two sheets of parchment to ¼-inch thick. Cut with 2-inch cutters. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool completely.

To make the icing: Combine remaining ingredients (except turbinado sugar) to form a thin glaze. Spread each cookie with 1/4 teaspoon of the glaze, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Pass a kitchen torch over to melt the sugar.

Approx. 110 calories, 6 grams fat, 13 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 1 gram protein per cookie


I’m linking this post to Wanderfood Wednesday.

By on December 20th, 2010

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

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13 thoughts on “Bruléed Orange Butter Cookies”

  1. Your beautiful cookies put the cookies I brought to my cookie swap (regular chocolate chunk with nuts cookies) to shame! You’ve inspired me to hunt for my mini torch!

  2. I just recently acquired a mini blow torch and can’t believe I waited this long! Bookmarked this recipe -looks perfect for the dark days of January – a lovely little bit of sunshine!

  3. One kind of cookie makes sense… i made 7 kinds. Cuz im an idiot. And I have a chefs torch on my wish list. My mother laughed at me… this looks like the perfec recipe to try it out on..
    I love it.

  4. I got a torch for Christmas a few years ago but it got misplaced in the two moves in 2 years. Your post is inspiring me to dig it out of the boxes. Love the shot of you bruleing. Great recipe.

  5. My roommates and I JUST invested in a torch specifically for creme brulee making! And what a way to break it in! These look wonderful. I’m sure they wowed at the cookie exchange.

  6. I might have to try these! I love creme brulee, orange, shortbread cookies etc. great combo!

    (But why do cookie recipes need to make so many cookies? I only need 1/3 of the recipe, at most…)

    • They freeze well and your neighbors/coworkers would love you for sharing, but it should be easy to make a third of the recipe (1 dozen cookies) since it uses three egg yolks. The salt and zest amounts don’t need to be exact – just as close as you can get.

      • what about the baking powder? lol, I don’t think I have a measuring spoon small enough!

        would you freeze the dough or the cookie?

        (sorry for the 1000 q’s, I do think these are something I can make, and I do actually have a creme brulee torch already!)

        • I’d try to eyeball the baking powder. Do you have a 1/4 tsp in your set? I’d try to just fill that approx 1/3 of the way.

          You could freeze it either way, but I actually meant to freeze the baked cookies.


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