Heat the oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment. Dab a few drops of water between the pan and the paper to help keep the paper on the baking sheet as you pipe the cookies.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, orange zest, egg yolk, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually mix in the flour.
Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip about two-thirds of the way full. Twist the opening closed and squeeze out generous 1-1/2-inch stars, spacing them about 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. To get the best shapes, hold the bag straight up and down with the edge of the tip just barely touching the baking sheet. Squeeze the bag firmly until the shape is as wide as you like. Stop squeezing and push the tip down slightly. Give the tip a slight twist as you pull it up and away.
Bake the cookies until the edges just begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Set the baking sheet on a rack until the cookies are cool enough to remove with a spatula without distorting their shape.
Beat the filling ingredients together until smooth, about 5 minutes. Line half of the cookies upside down on a piece of parchment. Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain tip and fill it with the orange cream. Pipe approximately 1/2 tsp. filling onto each cookie base. Place another cookie, right side up, sandwich style, on top. Press down lightly to adhere. Refrigerate until set. Dust the cookies lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
nutrition information (per serving):
per cookie sandwich;
sat fat g
Photo: Scott Phillips