Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter: Orange Cookies (Ninjas and Flowers)




This year I decided to bake springtime cookies for Easter, even though I usually bake mostly in fall and winter weather.   I adapted a recipe of orange-flavored cookies from Taste of Home Black-Eyed Susan Cookies.

These cookies had just the right amount of orange flavor and were sweet but not overly sweet. I'm thinking I could try these with vanilla or almond extract instead of the orange.

I planned to make flower cookies with one or two ninjas to use my new cookie cutters.  See Ninja Cookie Cutters.  However, some of my flowers did not have the right definition, while all of my ninjas came out really well so I made about five Easter ninjas (I read that if you refrigerate a bit after cutting the edges have better definition).  I didn't have much room on my cookie sheet so I made some round cookies into sandwich cookies with whipped frosting inside. 

The glaze looked more glaze-y earlier but I refrigerated the cookies overnight.  Also, I used M & Ms since I couldn't find gumdrops anywhere

The verdict: Success!!  The family liked/ate my orange cookies.

(Official) Yield: 21 cookies. *Note: Even though I followed the cookie recipe literally I do not think this recipe makes twenty-one layer cookies. 

Ingredients:  

Cookies

- 1 cup butter, softened  

- 1-1/4 cups sugar  

- 2 eggs 

- 1 teaspoon orange extract  

- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour  

-1 teaspoon baking powder  

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Glaze 

- 2 cups confectioners' sugar  

- 1/4 cup milk  

- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract  

- 2 to 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional -

-  Additional confectioners' sugar  

- Black gumdrops (or brown M & Ms or something with that general appearance)  

- Whipped cream frosting, optional (if you want to make orange whoopie pie type sandwich cookies).

Directions: 

1. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar well. Beat in eggs and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter sugar mixture. Divide dough in half and shape each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll larger portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness (Since I had no rolling pin I floured the side of a coffee cup; I bought a rolling pin right after that). Cut with a floured 3-in. round or scalloped cookie cutter or ninja. Place cookies one inch apart on greased baking sheets.

3. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely.

4. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, milk, orange extract and food coloring (if desired); mix until smooth.  Spread over cookies once they've cooled.

5.  Stir additional confectioners' sugar into remaining glaze to thicken; spread over cookies.  

6. Top with M & Ms (or gumdrops).

Variation: Make some cookies until whoopie pies by putting two cookies together and filling with whipped vanilla frosting

 6 (or makesome cookies with frosting as sandwich cookies). Top with gumdrops or M & Ms.    

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