Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Orange Cranberry

Ooh, it's been exciting around here.  Betty Crocker featured my Cherry Cordial (Redux) recipe on their Facebook wall last night, so thank you to all the new visitors, followers and commenters for all the great feedback.  I hope you continue to enjoy what I'm offering.  I welcome your questions and have been going through all of the comments.  You've given me some good ideas for future posts, so keep commenting!

I love these cookies.  As much as I love chocolate, these may be my absolute favorite holiday cookie. I've been keeping them in the rotation the past few years and I usually tuck a few aside just for me.  They are a stand up cookie, with a slight softness on the inside and the flavors merge beautifully.  These cookies are great with or without the glaze.  Your mouth fills with a sweet and tangy cranberry flavor, finished with a hint of orange.  The glaze does an excellent job of sweetening up the cookie and cutting through the tart cranberries.

This recipe came from the Betty Crocker website (found as Orange-Frosted Cranberry Cookies), and I haven't done much to alter it.  I changed the name because it's less a frosting and more a glaze, and I eliminated the nuts.  The past few years I've made these using dried cranberries.  Except this year I actually read the recipe and it calls for fresh or frozen cranberries.  So figured I'd follow along, and I'm so glad I did.  The dried cranberries are great, but the fresh ones bring a whole new level of flavor.  I guess those people at Betty Crocker know what they're talking about!

Orange Cranberry

Ingredients (for cookies)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

In a large bowl, beat butter.  Add sugars and cream thoroughly, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in orange peel, orange juice and egg at medium speed with an electric mixer.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and stir thoroughly.  Stir in chopped cranberries.

On a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet, drop by spoonfuls (I use a small cookie scoop) about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.

Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then move to complete cooling on rack.  Be sure cookies are completely cooled before frosting.

Ingredients (for glaze)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
2-3 Tablespoons orange juice

In small bowl, stir all frosting ingredients together until smooth.  Place a piece of parchment or a silicone mat under a cooking rack.  Using the back of a spoon, spread glaze onto the center of the cookie (it will spread to the edges), and allow to set on cooling rack.  Any glaze that drips off the edges will  fall onto the parchment and not your table or counter, making for easy clean up.  (We won't discuss how many times I frosted or glazed cookies before figuring this out.  And sorry I don't have any pictures for this process.)

For storage, allow glaze to set before packing into airtight containers. If you are going to layer the cookies, I suggest putting one layer in the container and popping it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Then place a piece of wax paper on top and repeat layers.

Makes 6 dozen.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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