Tag Archives: orange

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

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DAY 10: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

A slightly fancier shortbread, these are one of my very favorite cookies. Orange flavored not-too-sweet shortbread cookies dipped in dark chocolate; I love this flavor combination.

The dough is shaped into a log, refrigerated until firm and then sliced into rounds to bake. Dipping only half the cookie keeps the fingers much cleaner than trying to dip the whole cookie!

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You can also shape the dough logs into squares or triangles if you are looking to provide some variety of shape on your Christmas cookie tray. I wrapped my dough log in plastic wrap and then pressed it into an empty plastic wrap/foil box and used the box edges to form the mold for the dough.

 

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2012): Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread

RECIPE:

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

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1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure orange extract
1 tsp fresh orange zest
2 1/3 cups flour
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil or shortening

Use a mixer to cream butter and sugar  until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and orange extracts and orange zest. Gradually blend in flour.

Roll the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough log in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice dough with a sharp knife into 1/4″ slices, reshaping dough into circles, as necessary. Place cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove immediately to wire rack to cool.

While cookies cool, heat chocolate and coconut oil (or shortening) in a double boiler. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.

OPTIONAL: You can also shape the dough logs into squares or triangles if you are looking to provide some variety of shape on your Christmas cookie tray. I wrapped my dough log in plastic wrap and then pressed it into an empty plastic wrap/foil box and used the box edges to form the mold for the dough.

(Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Cranberry Orange Bread

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DAY 8: Cranberry Orange Bread

Another non-cookie recipe, but this comes at the request of my brother-in-law. Now he just needs to buy himself a plane ticket from Seattle to Baltimore so that he can eat some with us!

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Cranberries and oranges are one of my favorite holiday flavor combinations. Which is why I also love these Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Cookies:

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Cranberry Orange Bread makes a great neighbor gift, especially when you find these adorable small loaf pans in the dollar section of Michaels!

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RECIPE:

Cranberry Orange Bread

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½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup orange juice
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
¼tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup buttermilk (or additional orange juice)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
(do not thaw cranberries before chopping)
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or use baking Pam): 1 large loaf pan, or 3-4 small loaf pans, or 6 mini loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix in ¼ cup orange juice, orange peel and vanilla. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl and mix until just combined. Mix in buttermilk (or additional orange juice). Mix in remaining 1 cup flour until just combined. Fold in cranberries and nuts.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

Baking times (check doneness with a toothpick in center of loaf):

Large loaf pan: 60-80 minutes
Small loaf pans: 45-60 minutes
Mini loaf pans: 25-35 minutes

**NOTE: If you use frozen cranberries, baking times will be on the higher end of the range. Cover bread with foil if the top begins to brown before center is cooked.

Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then remove to a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Cookies

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DAY 9: Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Cookies

Cranberries and oranges are flavors that pair so well together. This is a soft cookie with a cake-like texture topped with an orange glaze. I like that they are not overly sweet.

A note on storing glazed cookies: The glaze will continue to set as the cookies sit at room temperature, but it does not become hard enough to stack the cookies, especially in humid climates. To store these cookies (or other frosted/glazed cookies, allow the glaze to set at room temperature for at least an hour. Then place the glazed cookies  in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Transfer the completely frozen cookies to a tupperware container and store in the freezer. To serve, remove individual frozen cookies from the freezer and allow them to thaw in a single layer (not stacked).

My kids usually skip the thawing step. They just grab cookies straight from the freezer and eat them.

RECIPE:

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Cookies

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½ cup dried cranberries
1 ½ cups  flour
Zest of half of an orange (about ½ tsp), use other half in glaze
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbs butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbs fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Tbs heavy cream
Zest of half of an orange (about ½ tsp)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put the dried cranberries in a small bowl with about 1 cup of  hot (but not boiling)  water. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes; drain.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, orange zest, baking soda and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat well to mix. Mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in batches at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix in the dried cranberries.

Drop the dough by tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 1 minute; then transfer them to a wire rack. Cool cookies completely.

For the glaze, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, orange juice, cream and orange zest. Add additional juice or sugar until glaze is spreading consistency. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the glaze over the cooled cookies.

STORAGE NOTE: The glaze will continue to set as the cookies sit at room temperature, but it does not become hard enough to stack the cookies, especially in humid climates. To store these cookies (or other frosted/glazed cookies, allow the glaze to set at room temperature for at least an hour. Then place the glazed cookies  in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Transfer the completely frozen cookies to a tupperware container and store in the freezer. To serve, remove individual frozen cookies from the freezer and allow them to thaw in a single layer (not stacked).

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

(Adapted from TwoPeasAndTheirPod)

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Creamy Citrus Cheesecake

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For Brian’s birthday a couple of weeks ago we had this wonderful cheesecake. It is a very creamy cheesecake flavored with lemon and orange zest and juice. You can use blood oranges or regular naval oranges. Lime would also be a great flavor, instead of the lemon. The recipe comes from Aimée Bourque, who is the editor of Simple Bites and author of the blog Under the High Chair.

The original recipe did not have you bake the cheesecake in a water bath, but I did because I think it helps the cheesecake cook more uniformly, and reduces cracks on the top of the cheesecake. To prepare your pan for a waterbath, wrap the springform pan in a double layer of foil. Or: this time I did one layer of foil and then put the pan in an oven-safe bag (the kind used for roasting turkeys). Place wrapped pan in a larger roasting pan and add hot, almost boiling, water to the roasting pan to a level about halfway up the outside of the springform pan.

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If you are nervous about moving a pan full of boiling water: pull the oven rack out slightly from the hot oven. Place roasting pan on the oven rack, place springform pan in the roasting pan, and then add boiling water to the roasting pan. Carefully push oven rack back into the oven.3711 150-1

Just out of the oven-No Cracks!

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A citrus zest-spiked sour cream makes a perfect topping and hides any imperfections that develop in the top of the cheesecake as the cheesecake cools.

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I served this cheesecake with fresh blueberries and this fabulous homemade Blueberry Syrup.

It is flavorful enough that it could also be served on its own without any topping.

RECIPE:

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Creamy Citrus Cheesecake
———(adapted from Aimée Bourque on Savory Sweet Life)

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
3 pkg (24 oz) cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of one lime or small lemon (wash before zesting)
Zest and juice of half an orange (wash before zesting; remaining half will be used in topping)
5 large eggs, room temperature

Topping:
1 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of half an orange
6 Tbs granulated sugar

Place oven rack on the lowest level of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the crust:
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix. Press onto the bottom of a nine-inch springform pan. Bake crust for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Cool. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil, or one layer of foil and then place in an oven bag (like the kind used for turkeys). Place springform pan in a larger roasting pan.

For the filling:
With a mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, citrus zest and juice. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour filling over crumb crust.  Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot (almost boiling) water to about 2-inches deep.

Bake cheesecake in the water bath for about 60 minutes. The cheesecake will have puffed significantly, and the middle will still be slightly jiggly. Remove pan from water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack on the counter.

For the topping:
Combine sour cream, orange zest and juice, and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour over slightly cooled cheesecake and let stand for half an hour at room temperature.
Cover cheesecake pan tightly with plastic wrap, taking care not to disturb the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours or overnight.

To serve:
Remove plastic wrap and lift off the outer edge of the spring form pan. If desired, slide a sharp knife under the crust and slide the cheesecake off the spring form base and onto a cake stand or serving platter.

Serve cheesecake alone, or topped with fresh berries or homemade blueberry syrup.

 

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Thanksgiving: Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Cinnamon

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Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. Now is the time to start planning your menu. Over the next week, I will share some of our family’s favorites.

We love our cranberry sauce around here, especially on leftover turkey sandwiches the next day. The addition of orange peel and juice, and a hint of cinnamon gives this cranberry sauce a nice tang. The picture above is a Sugar Free version, made with stevia. The recipe below includes instructions for making it with full sugar or a sugar substitute. In the past I have had problems getting a proper gel with sugar substitutes, so I now add a little unflavored gelatin (Knox). I like it sprinkled with toasted finely chopped pecans, but the kids don’t like it as much this way, so I usually leave it plain.

RECIPE:

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Cranberry Sauce

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (or additional water)
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (Stevia, Splenda) **
1 tsp Knox gelatin (if using sugar substitute)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fresh grated orange peel
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans, optional

Place water in a medium saucepan. If using a sugar substitute, sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand 5 minutes. Heat to a boil. Stir in orange juice, sugar (or substitute), cinnamon stick and orange peel. Return to a boil; boil 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries, return to a boil. Boil 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick. Serve warm or cold with toasted pecans.

**NOTE: Sugar substitutes vary a lot in sweetness, especially stevia. I use Sweet Leaf brand powdered stevia and usually use about 1/2 tsp. Start on the low side; taste cranberry sauce and add more to your taste, if necessary. You can also use part sugar/part sugar substitute.

 

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Low Sugar Strawberry Citrus Jam

072210 028-1 Summer is in full swing here; temperatures hover between 85° and 90°, with humidity levels making it feel a good 10 degrees hotter. So have we been hanging out at the swimming pool, or in the sprinkler? Or finding nice, cool activities to do inside? No-we’ve been canning! Seeing just how hot we can get the kitchen with multiple pots of boiling water and macerated fruit. I do have some great helpers in this effort. Mashing fruit with the potato masher is quite a coveted job around here!

And it will all be worth it come January when we are snowed in, cracking open a little bit of summer in a jar.

I tried several new jam recipes this week, including this Strawberry Citrus Jam. Made with strawberries and and a chopped orange (plus peel), it is quite tart. Not so tart that the kids wouldn’t eat it, however. They really like it. I do too. And I love how the orange really brought out the color of the strawberries. I make most of my jams low sugar (substituting all but one cup of sugar with stevia), and the lower sugar often makes the jam less bright and clear. But the added citrus really brightened up this jam!

If you do try this jam, take a taste before you add it to your jars, and adjust the sweetness to your liking.

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RECIPE:

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Low Sugar Strawberry Citrus Jam
—————————(adapted from Big Black Dog)

1 large orange
4 cups crushed strawberries (measure after crushing)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
1 box low-sugar fruit pectin

Grate zest from orange into a large saucepan (you should have about 2 tsp). Cut white rind from orange; discard. Chop orange pulp and add to the saucepan. Stir in crushed strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and stevia.

Optional step: Let fruit/sugar mixture sit for 1 hour to overnight (place in the refrigerator if you are going to let it sit overnight). Letting the fruit sit in the sugar will help sweeten the individual fruit bits. It also helps keep the fruit bits from settling in your finished jam.

Stir pectin into fruit mixture. Bring to a hard boil (bubbles don’t stop when jam is stirred) over medium-high heat. Boil hard for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

NOTE: This is a tart jam. Try the jam at this point. If it is not sweet enough, add additional stevia or sugar. If you add additional sweetener, return jam to a hard boil before filling jars.

Ladle jam into sterilized jars. Wipe rims; add lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let jars sit on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours to set. Check seal.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

 

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A Little Burst of Winter Sunshine: Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots

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There is nothing like bright colorful vegetables on a cold dreary winter day to bring a little sunshine in.

With fresh orange juice and grated ginger, these baby carrots are sure to brighten up even the most miserable day.

RECIPE:

Orange-Ginger Glazed Carrots

1 lb baby carrots (or medium carrots, peeled and sliced)
1 Tbs butter
1 orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp fresh grated orange peel
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt

Roast or steam carrots until tender. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil 1 minute. Stir in carrots and cook for 2 minutes.

 

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