There are plenty of good things that come out of taking what feels like years to customize your blog the way you want it. One of those things is having a nice chunk of content to blog about when you get to posting again. I haven’t really made something substantial in weeks and yet I have a few weeks worth of stuff that I could write about. I have potential posts going all the way back to the beginning of March! Some may call that slacking, but I call it strategic planning!
So how about we get the ball rolling with my strategic planning and get this place off to a good start? What better way to do that than with some cookies!
I made these back when spring started and I really wanted to get the new season in the house, despite winter sticking around till about 2 weeks ago. I knew I wanted to do a cookie because whatever I made was going to be neighborhood welcoming gifts for a couple of new neighbors we had at the time.
Yes, I’m all for making something and bringing it to new neighbors and welcoming them to the neighborhood. I think it shows that they’re.. I dunno.. welcome? Not to mention it let’s them know the people they live next to care. My wife, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She thought it was “weird” and something that just happened in the movies – you know, when the stay-at-home wife in a polka dot dress, big earrings and crazy, done up hair comes knocking on your door with some sort of pie (it’s always a pie), and says “Hi, I just wanted to bring you this pie I made and welcome you to the neighborhood!”
I’m that stay-at-home wife, er, husband, except I’m dressed in plaid cargo shorts; a novelty t-shirt, most likely with some geeky reference (the day I brought the cookies to them it was a Star Wars shirt); and a receding hairline.
But I digress.
I knew it was going to be a cookie, but what kind, I didn’t know. It wasn’t until my son asked me for some oranges that I had my Dr. House moment. The lights turned on upstairs, the gears began turning and I was on my way.
Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies with Orange Glaze
½ cup ~ Raw Sugar
5 tablespoons (roughly) ~ Orange Zest (about 3 large oranges)
2 sticks ~ Butter
2 each ~ Eggs
1 teaspoon ~ Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup ~ Honey
3 cups ~ Flour
1 teaspoon ~ Baking Soda
½ teaspoon ~ Salt
1 teaspoon ~ Cinnamon
2 cups ~ Dark Chocolate Chips
2 cups ~ Confectioners Sugar, sifted
1 ½ tablespoons ~ Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
½ tablespoon ~ Orange Zest
- I used the raw sugar and the honey because I wanted to try and give it a lighter sweetness as oppose to the in yo face sweetness my cookies usually bring to the yard. My attempts were successful.
- Then I used the glaze to mask those successful attempts and still put sweetness in yo face. smh…
- I wanted a thicker glaze so it could sit on top, just like those sugar cookies that you buy in the grocery store – you know, the ones that are laced with crack. Yeah, you know…
- In hindsight, a thinner glaze that gave a light coating that you could still see the cookie through would’ve appeared more appetizing and probably would’ve helped brought out the mellow sweetness of the cookie.
- Oh well. Consider these homemade orange crack cookies.
- Speaking of orange… I like to utilize the entire orange as much as I can. Which is why whenever I make something with orange zest, I always cut supremes and then squeeze what’s left to get all the juice out. Waste not, my friends.
- What the heck is a supreme, you say? Well, a supreme is a fancy way of saying segment. As in, orange segment or any other citrus for that matter. It’s the best way to cut citrus for easy eating because you don’t have to deal with annoying, chewy membrane. For a sweet, picture-by-picture tutorial on how to supreme an orange, check out this post on Baking Bites. I did have pictures of how to do it myself, I remember being annoyed at my wife for not taking the picture while I cut them, but I couldn’t find the pictures. So check out that post.
- The core of the orange that’s left after you supreme it will give you a bunch of juice so squeeze it into a cup.
Ok.. Orange you excited?!
- Alright, whenever I make something with zest (fruit zest, not energetic and enthusiastic zest), I like to blend both the zest and sugar together for a little bit. In my mind, it helps to bring out the oils because the scent really fills the kitchen when I do it.
- Once it’s blended for a few seconds, add the butter (which should be softened) and cream it together with the sugar till fluffy. I like to cream them longer than needed because I enjoy a good, soft, puffy cookie.
- Next add the eggs, honey and vanilla, then incorporate. After that, add all the dry ingredients, incorporate, then the chocolate chips, blah blah. This ain’t your first rodeo.
When all is said and done you should have something that looks like this:
Now, the following step is one that I just recently started doing, and that’s refrigerating my dough. I always mixed then quickly plopped onto the tray. But after calming down, taking a step back and putting the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours, I found my patience was greatly rewarded with better looking, better tasting cookies. If you didn’t know, when you refrigerate your cookie dough the flour has more time to soak up the moisture from the liquids – mostly the egg. This not only helps on a chemical level by letting the melding ingredients break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, but it also helps make the dough firmer when baking since the moisture was soaked up by the flour. If you make cookies that are kinda meh and flat, then it’s possible the dough was not rested or refrigerated. So the flour and moisture did not have time to get happy-happy.
- So after your dough is made, wrap it up and put it in the fridge to cool and relax for a couple of hours at least. I’m no stranger to leaving dough in there for days at a time. You’ll be fine with a few hours but again, in my mind, I like to think a few days will make it even better. I be cray-cray like that.
- Turn on your oven to 375° and while it’s heating, scoop your cold, rested dough onto some trays an inch and a halfish or so apart. Pop them in the preheated oven for 8-11 minutes. You’re looking for the bottom edges to be brown and maybe some brown highlights throughout the top, but for the most part, take the cookie out before it looks done. When done, put them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
- While they’re baking, it’s the perfect time to make the glaze. Just sift the powdered sugar into a bowl, add the orange zest and the orange juice that you freshly squeezed, and just whisk till smooth.
If you feel like the glaze is too thick, add some more orange juice a ½ teaspoon at a time. You don’t want to add too much and then have to add more sugar to make it thicker again.
- When the cookies are cool, just give the glaze a little whisk to make sure it’s smooth and dip the top of the cookies in. After dunking, set aside and let them set. When set they could be stored on top of each other for a few days.
And that be that. A cookie perfect for spring. …Next spring since this one is almost over. Well, summer might work too… And that be that. A cookie perfect for summer. …Oh wait, it’s Memorial Day weekend, isn’t it? Dammit…
And that be that. A cookie perfect for Memorial Day! Why? Because it’s a refreshing cookie that you could sit next to your Peanut Butter Flag Dip or your Berrylicious Summer Salad or your Homemade BBQ Sweet Potato Chips, and enjoy outside after or during a good BBQ.
Yeah, outside, where the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you can do as you please. Memorial Day is a day to be enjoyed outside with loved ones and friends. A day to take a deep breath of fresh air and remember that if it weren’t for the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom throughout the 237 short years of our Nation’s existence, then we probably wouldn’t be able to do simple things like enjoy days outside or sit around on a day off from work or write a food blog. It’s not National BBQ Day (I think that’s July 13th), it’s Memorial Day. Go and take that deep breath.
I hope you enjoy it! (the cookie and the breath)
About the song: Here Comes the Weekend by Pink – Since I first heard this song it’s basically been my Friday Anthem. Love the beat, and anything Eminem does is alright by me. Enjoy the weekend!! It is off The Truth About Love