Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Cookie Exchange and Orange Ginger Cookies

So it is that time of year again...sweaters, hot cocoa and cookie exchanges!!!

I am going through old blog posts to find my favourite cookies as I prepare to bake for friends, family and the exchange!

So torn as always between the old standbys and the new recipes I've found.

I present Orange Ginger Crinkle Cookies, a new recipe that I adapted from Joy of Cooking: All About Cookies. It is a low fat cookie but don't prejudge. I don't usually select cookies on their health claims. Cookies are cookies and are meant to be enjoyed. (And probably in moderation...although we are working on mastering that in this family...)

Somehow this low fat cookie just works...making it slightly crisper, with the hint of a chewy bite at the end. And the orange flavour just pushes it over the top...well, let's just say it is making it onto the favourites list now.

I thought I'd run through some of my other favourites in case else anyone needs some Christmas baking inspiration...
Gina's Perfect Shortbread
Grandma Manky's Crackled Gingersnaps
April's Chocolate Coconut Oat Cookies
Apple Oat Cookies with Maple Buttercream
Vanilla Earl Grey Shortbread

Have someone without a real sweet tooth? These are the perfect treat for those who prefer something not-too-sweet:
Monica's Almond Thins

Though technically not a cookie, these are some yummy bite-sized treats!
Mini Nut Tarts
Mini Brownie Cupcakes

Have a health nut or a vegan on your list? These raw goodies are delicious!
Hemp Truffles
Raw Chocolate Macaroons

Want to create perfect cookies? 
  • I prefer to slightly underbake cookies than to overbake cookies...but that is a personal preference.
  • For easiest clean up- and no burnt bottoms- use parchment paper or Silpat liners on your baking sheets.
  • For uniform-sized cookies, use dishers/ ice cream scoops (as pictured).
  • Store cookies in sealed ziploc bags or containers in the fridge or freezer until ready to give for maximum freshness. 

Orange Ginger Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking: All About Cookies

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar (plus additional sugar for rolling)
3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral-flavoured oil)
2 ½ tbsp butter, softened
2 ½ tsp finely grated orange zest (or 1 tsp natural orange flavouring)
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cloves and salt.
  3. Using a stand mixer, or beater, beat sugar, oil and butter on medium speed until blended. Add orange zest or flavouring, egg, molasses and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  4. Add flour to the liquid ingredients and mix until smooth.
  5. Spoon or roll into balls, roll in sugar and place on lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.