Christmas Baking for a Cause and Something for Breakfast
The cause is Forgotten Felines. This is where we adopted Patrick and Lucy. I also do the website. They asked if the volunteers could make cookies for the trays that they distribute to sponsors. Like I could or would say no to the request.
I made Anginette Cookies, Orange and Cranberry Shortbread, and Chocolate Crackle Tops.
The Anginettes is my Mom's recipe.
Eleanor Lombardi's Anginette Cookies-
5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
9 tsp baking powder
1 cup All-Vegetable Shortening
rind from 1 orange
1/3 cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk.
Cut in the shorting (mix like pie crust)
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Mix this with the flour mixture and rind and juice.
Roll into small balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie trays for 5 minutes.
For Icing - 1 cup confectionery sugar and 4 1/2 tsp orange juice. Mix sugar and juice until smooth. You may have to add a little more juice.
Orange Cranberry Shortbread is what I think is my favorite cookie this year.
1/2 cup dried cranberries Craisins
¾ cups sugar divided
2½ cups all purpose flour – spooned and leveled not scooped
1 cup butter cubed (and cold)
1 tsp almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tbsp of fresh orange juice optional
additional sugar to coat cookies before baking if desired
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Combine cranberries and 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor and process just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
Combine flour and remaining sugar in a large bowl.
Use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut in butter. You want very fine crumbs.
Stir in extract, cranberries and sugar mixture, orange zest, and orange juice (optional).
Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough until it comes together. If the dough is still crumbly, add orange juice, one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.
Shape dough into a log about two inches in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick.
Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar.
Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or just until cookies are set. Do not over bake. I remove my cookies at 12 minutes.
Let cookies cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
And the Chocolate Crackle Tops is a cookie that my Mom made every Christmas.
But I could not get her recipe to come out as good as when she baked them. I found this recipe on Crazy For Crust and I loved the results. Chocolatey and moist.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar for coating
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer, mix oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients.
Scoop 1 or 2 tablespoon balls of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. You don’t need to space them; we’re going to chill the dough.
Chill the cookies at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar then evenly space them on the cookie sheet (they won’t spread much).
Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.
Fresh Cranberries in the fridge so -
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, VERY cold and cut into tiny pieces
1 large egg
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional but highly recommended)
1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, do not thaw
For the egg wash-
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
2 Tablespoons sparkling sugar, optional For Glaze-
1 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional but recommended to cut the sweetness
For the Cranberry Orange Scones:
Preheat oven to 425°(F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom, mix well to combine.
Cut the butter into small cubes then, using your fingers, two forks, or a pastry cutter, work it into the dough until it resembles a coarse meal. The chunks of butter should be about the size of peas.
In a glass measuring cup whisk together the egg, cream, vanilla, and orange exact.
Pour the liquid mixture into the center of the flour mixture. Then add in the cranberries. Use a spatula to stir everything together until just moistened. Don't worry if the dough looks shaggy!
Empty the loose dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times, then shape it into an 8-inch disc.
Cut the disc into 8 even wedges and carefully transfer them to the prepared sheet, placing them 2" apart.
Lightly brush each scone with the egg wash. Then sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if using.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Allow scones to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle with glaze (if using), and serve warm!
For the egg wash:
In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water until well combined.
For the Glaze:
In a small bowl combine the confectioners' sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Drizzle over scones.