Thursday, December 25, 2008

Some Christmas Baking & Christmas Swag.

So I decided yesterday to bake my traditional Orange Cookies. I do them every year, much to my husband's chagrin. He doesn't quite like them because he dislikes citrus in baked goods. But I love them, and I'm sure if you like citrus, you will too; it's a very subtle flavour, and please don't feel confined to oranges... substitute it with any citrus you like. Lemon is especially good too. This cookie dough also works very well as a hard-shell for tarts. :) Shall we begin?

Indeed, Christmas is not christmas without cookies. I'm planning to make several kinds of cookie, but this one is my fav. You begin by blending the 'wet ingredients', which includes the sugar, but let's not quibble.. :)

Cut the butter up into little cubes, and add it to the mixing bowl. Then add the egg, vanilla and sugar. Grate 1 tablespoon of orange zest, and one tablespoon of juice from the orange. Feel free to take a break to eat the rest of the orange. :) Mix that into a 'slurry'--the butter should be broken up into tiny parts by the mixer... it's not a pretty sight, but it smells heavenly. Now it's time to toss in the 'dry' ingredients.

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and give it a stir. Then with the mixer running, pour the mixture into the slurry until it's well blended. It should become a fragrant ball of dough.

And voila. Wrap it up in wax paper or saran wrap and chuck it into the freezer for a spell to firm that butter up again before you work the dough.

When it's chilled it's the perfect dough for cookie-cutters. Roll it out to about a 1/4" to 3/8", it's a soft cookie like a sugar cookie, and it shapes beautifully. Bake at 425º for no more than 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on them. Let them get a bit puffy and a very light golden brown. Let them cool. Then it's time to do the icing.

I keep the icing as simple as possible. Powdered sugar is a wonderful thing. You can blend it with a splash of orange juice, with milk or in the case of this batch, I used heavy cream. I don't have specific measurements for you, I just dumped a pile of powered sugar into a bowl, and then added splash after splash of liquid and stirred it until it reached the right consistency. I didn't colour it, but I could have, and I didn't add any flavourings, which I could have as well. I dipped the cookie top into it, twisted it as I pulled it away, and put it on a wire rack. I quickly sprinkled the desired decoration on top while it was still moist.

I couldn't find silver dots I wanted at the store. :( So I used sugar sprinkles, peppermint sprinkles and white chocolate strawberry curls. Mmm.

They're about 60% gone already. ::eep:: Give them a try, they're subtle and delicious. The orange flavour is not overwhelming at all, but it's there and it's GOOD!

As for this morning, it was an orgy of wrapping paper shreds and squeals fo delight. And I scored this year! I got so many great gifts... I may be revealing more of my nerdiness than I would care to share, but I got the whole Star Trek the Next Generation series this Christmas, AND ....

I got a real dress-form at last! OMG!!!! SCORE!!! I also got sushi-making supplies, books on pattern-making, lovely garden ornaments, and lots of other wonderful things! I'm so spoiled. I am now going to climb onto my pile of booty and lord over it, being sure to growl and snap at anyone that comes near it. ::hee hee::

Merry Christmas everyone! And a happy New Year!


An attempt at life... said...

Your cookies are beautiful! Im glad you have had a great christmas! Have a great weekend!

A Day In the Life . . . said...

Okay, so what program do you use to add text to your pictures??? I totally want it! Oh yeah, the cookies do look great, yum! Glad you had a great Christmas!

Hungarican Chick said...

I use Photoshop for many purposes. You can find lots of more affordable options though... Arcsoft PhotoStudio... does drop-shadows on text too.

elfkin said...

cookies! damn, wish I'd seen that recipe sooner. I made brownies, but in the snow storm we HAD to eat them. ehehhe.


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