Jo Ryman Scott’s Orange Delight Cookies

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In 1961, these light, fresh-orange-and-sugar-glazed, tea cookies won Scott the first-ever bake-off at Fairbanks, Alaska’s Tanana Valley State Fair, making her Grand Champion. Scott brought the family recipe–for which she credits Pauline Angerhofer—to Alaska with her from South Dakota in 1953. I visited her there to talk about the cookies and her other Tanana Valley fair exploits. She says the flavorful secret to these deceptively plain-looking little delights, is dipping the fresh-baked cookies while still hot-from-the-oven into a mixture of fresh-squeezed orange juice and sugar

Makes 6 dozen

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Orange Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (about three oranges)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp finely-grated orange zest


  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. In a cup, add vinegar to milk and stir to sour. Dissolve soda in sour milk. Alternate adding flour and milk to the butter/sugar/eggs mixture. Beat until smooth. Refrigerate dough for 3 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Roll small balls of dough, or drop by the rounded teaspoon-ful onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
  2. While baking, make glaze. Whisk together orange juice, sugar and orange zest. When cookies finish baking, immediately dunk in glaze and set on waxed paper to dry 1 1/2 hours. Flip over and let dry another 1 1/2 hours.

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