Sunday, September 27, 2009

White Chocolate Orange Cookies

I've baked a lot of things in the past two years.

Cakes. Cheesecakes. Cupcakes. Brownies. Blondies. Ocassionaly pie. And, of course, cookies.

Out of all of these things, which one do you think scares me the most to make?

Would it be the cheesecake, so prone to failure that just a few seconds of overmixing, overbaking, or even breathing wrong can cause unsightly cracks that are only made perfect by slathering a bunch of chocolate ganache on top?

Would it be cake, that seems to always stick to my pans even though I lather them with butter, flour, and cooking spray?

Brownies? Blondies? Pies? Cupcakes?

None of these.

You know what scares me the most?


Why, Alex?! They're so easy to make! You just make dough, refrigerate, drop into little balls on a pan and bake 'em for a few minutes!
Easy as 1, 2, 3!

I wish.

I really do wish it were that simple for me, but it's not. Cookies are, and will always be, my most feared baked goods to create. I love how creative you can be with them, don't get me wrong. A cookie is like a blank canvas. All you need is some butter, sugar, and flour, and you're pretty much good to go. Oh, and vanilla extract. Pure, please.

You can add anything. Chocolate chips. White chocolate chips. Cinnamon. Maple syrup. Heck, you can even add oats, raisins, and apples if you seriously wanted to. The possibilites go on and on and on and on...
It's not really what goes in the cookie that scares me. It's how the cookie turns out that does.

For some reason, whether it be crazy Floridian humidity or the fact that my baking sheets are like 32049204930 years old and have seen more cookies than the cookie monster, my cookies almost NEVER come out the way I want them to. Like this one time I tried to make the infamous "whoopie pies".... Yeah. Somehow instead of nice, fluffy, chocolatey cakey cookies, I got chocolate crisps that looked like flat tuiles. Lacey holes and all. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I don't know. I don't want to know. The logic escapes me. Cookies escape me. I wish cookies didn't escape me, because I love a good, gooey, chewy cookie dipped in milk. But I'm cursed with the inability to make perfect cookies.

Thankfully, taste makes up for lack of desired texture. Especially in these White Chocolate Orange Cookies.

First off, the orange flavor is IRRESISTABLE OH MY GOD. And paired with the white chocolate? Holy. Crap. Make these. Now. Do it. Even though I didn't get the perfect chewy texture I wanted when I baked these, THEY STILL CAME OUT SO GOOD. Not only that, but since I kind of added a spicy kick to it, the ginger really brings out the orange flavor. The result is out of this world. Seriously.

So even though cookies escape me, I'm really glad that sometimes they do come out okay, or, at least, edible. And thank God they did because I think this is one of my favorite cookies, ever. So light. So yummy. Soooo good. They don't spread much during baking, so make sure to flatten them with your fingers a bit or with the back of a spoon.

White Chocolate Orange Cookies
6 tablespoons butter, very soft
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup fine white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest from 1 orange,
Juice from 1/2 orange
1/2 to 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)

1. Beat butter and sugars together until fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla extract, but don't mix yet.
3. Sift together the nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest. Add to bowl.
4. Add the juice from 1/2 orange.
5. Mix all together until well combined. Be careful not to overmix.
6. Fold in white chocolate chips. If your dough is very, very sticky, add 1/2 cup of sifted flour.
7. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll cookies into desired ball shapes and flatten on sheet slightly with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake cookies at 350 for 8-10 minutes (mine went for 8.) or until the bottoms begin to turn a golden brown.

Note: These cookies DO NOT SPREAD MUCH. So make sure to flatten them a bit. If you want chewier texture, leave them on the pan a bit before removing them to a cooling rack. If you want them crispier, leave them in for longer.

Don't worry if the cookies look a bit "doughy" in the middle... They will set up on the sheet and cooling rack.


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