Hints of fresh ginger and orange peel shine through in these soft and chewy, vanilla flavored Gluten Free White Chocolate Chip Citrus Cookies.
My girls and I were on a kick for a while buying massive bags of navel oranges. Safeway would have huge bags of them on sale for $5 during their Friday specials. I almost forgot how much I love sweet, juicy navel oranges.
For the last couples of years I have bought mainly cuties (clementines) because they are so easy to peel, therefore super kid friendly. I would just throw one in Braelyn’s lunch a few times a week and call it good. We packed them for playing at the beach, swimming at the pool, and going on family hikes. My kiddos would down 2 or 3 at a time, and although it drove me nuts that they wanted every last tiny white string picked off of them, I was happy they were eating something healthy.
But man, those convenient little clementines are nothing compared to those hefty navels. Not in the least.
It’s like comparing a fun size candy bar to a king size. Seriously, which would you rather have, stomach ache aside???
Anyway, to make it through all of the oranges I had been buying recently, I needed to find some creative ways to use them. We made citrus banana bread, I tested out a couple of muffin recipes, I squeezed fresh orange juice when I was craving something sweet and refreshing, and we made batches and batches of these Gluten Free White Chocolate Chip Citrus Cookies.
Even though I would consider these cookies a spring/summer dessert because of their fun color and fruity flavor, they kind of remind me of Christmas, too. My mother-in-law still fills stockings for Ben and me, and no fail we can always expect a gigantic navel orange and a chocolate candy whack-an-orange stuffed inside. I totally made up that name. I have no idea what they’re actually called. Basically it’s a chocolate ball shaped like an orange, wrapped in orange foil. You whack it and it separates into little orange sections. Actually, the chocolate itself is pretty gross, but any excuse to slam something on the table and release some frustration is a win in my book.
As yummy as white chocolate and citrus are alone, they are even better paired with a hint of ginger; freshly grated ginger for that matter. I never realized how much I loved ginger until the last few years. Because it’s kind of a “spicy” spice, my mom never really cooked or baked with it. But after falling in love with all kinds of Asian inspired dishes, I LOVE ginger.
Now there can definitely be a ginger overload in sweets if you’re not too careful. I hate candied ginger and I’ve tried some ginger cream cookies that made me want to gag. Both of those goodies were way too strong for my liking. But a hint of ginger (key word: hint) is just perfect for my somewhat sensitive palate.
These cookies have a texture similar to your typical chewy chocolate chip cookie, but the flavor is completely unexpected. It’s fresh, fruity, and packs a vanilla punch. They are far from your ordinary after school cookie.
Even though I’m pretty sure cookies can never be considered sophisticated, if there ever was a cookie that was prim and proper, these would be it. For some reason I just feel fancy eating a cookie filled with orange zest, grated ginger, and smooth white chocolate. Doesn’t that just sound like a cookie you would want to eat with your pinky up??? I think so.
So pass on the chocolate chips, just this once, and venture out for something new. These cookies are sure to bring you even more sunshine this summer.
What are some of your unique flavor combos for homemade cookies?
- 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
- 3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup white rice flour*
- 1 cup brown rice flour*
- ½ cup cornstarch*
- ½ cup potato starch*
- ¼ cup tapioca starch*
- ¼ cup sweet sorghum flour*
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum*
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel (about 2 oranges)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ cup orange juice (about 1 large orange)
- 1½ cups white chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, sift together white rice flour, brown rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, salt, baking soda, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Stir in orange peel and grated ginger.
- Dump dry ingredients into butter mixture along with orange juice. Mix on medium until well incorporated. Continue to mix until dough starts to pull away from sides, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in white chocolate chips. Cover and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours to overnight.
- Once ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2" apart on cookie sheet. Gently press dough down to about ¾" thickness. Bake, one pan at a time, at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes until barely browning, rotating pan after about 9 minutes of baking.
- Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to continue cooling. Cookies will set as they become cool.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temp for 3 days, in fridge for up to a week, or in freezer for up to 3 months.