Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cranberry-Orange Cookies.

I have a secret. It has nothing to do with cranberries or sugar, but now that Christmas is just thirty-seven days away, I feel like I can I be honest with you.

... I've been buying Christmas ornaments since September.

Moving into our first apartment in October was the perfect cover. Hey, we need pots and pans and bath towels. Let's just stop by World Market and see what's up.

"Did you find towels? What do you think of this couch?" Towels? What? I don't know, but I'll tell you what I think of these sparkly sea otter ornaments I just found and accidentally bought.

Oh we need a wine opener and bread? Target's a few minutes away. Let's just pick that up right now.

TRAP. We will also leave with gingerbread ornaments, glittery snowflakes, and twinkle lights. 

The rest of my brain is mildly freaking out.

Why are you asking for my Christmas list. Be real... I don't even have a grocery list. What do you buy the man who seriously thinks a 12-gallon shop vac was the best gift you've ever given him? Where does one find mistletoe? Why can't I tie my scarf like Pinterest? Work Christmas parties. They're real and they are happening. I love this apartment. But seriously... where is the Christmas tree going to go? We still don't have pots and pans. Should I have started Christmas shopping already? Wait... 37 days? What am I going to bake?!?

This Christmas I'm on a winter mission. Like The Hobbit trailer, but with more mistletoe, butter, and Christmas lights. I really want to dig deep and be adventurous. I'm talking gingerbread. Real cakey squares of gingerbread. Homemade fudge and chocolate bark, perfect yeasted cinnamon rolls, something with crushed candy canes, crispy peanut butter balls, and, I'm so serious this time... at least one pie.  

Probably not. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Phyllo, am I right? I just can't deal.

Up first: discovering a new favorite Christmas cookie. Something to shake up my cookie trays with all the peanut butter blossoms and sugar cookies that I make every. single. year.

Like a chewy, soft cranberry-orange cookie, rolled in sugar, if you will, with just-barely-crunchy sugary edges, a chewy cookie center, and all that purely festive cranberry-orange flavor.

I can't stop.

These are cookie tray cookies, Thanksgiving Eve cookies, breakfast-and-hot-chocolate-cookies, Black Friday cookies, I-just-spent-how-much-Christmas-shopping-on-Amazon cookies, and no, seriously: I'm-just-going-to-sit-here-and-eat-cookies-until-I-figure-out-where-the-Christmas-tree-is-gonna-go cookies.

I'm not going to tell you how many of these I ate the first day. I'm not.

Cranberry-Orange Cookies

3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 tablespoons milk, if necessary
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon orange zest

For rolling cookies in: 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons milk, just until the dough comes together. Fold in the cranberries and orange zest. Chill dough for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon orange zest in a small bowl and rub zest into sugar until thoroughly combined and fragrant.

Roll dough into large 1-inch balls. Roll in orange sugar and place on baking sheet, flattening slightly with your hand.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges just start to turn golden.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Source: From Cooking with Cristine.