Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a wonderful time during the holidays.  I hope Santa has found you and hope good health, happiness and good luck follow you during the New Year.

For the last two weeks I have been on a baking kick and today, after a 5 AM roll call to see what Santa might have dropped by, I went right back to baking.  I have been trying out new recipes from America’s Test Kitchen while looking for unique cookies.  With that in mind I started with the Orange Gingerbread Cookies with Rum Glaze.  Orange Gingerbread Rum Cookies   In general, I love anything baked with ginger and oranges and wanted to see if I could make a passable ginger cookie.

I mixed the ingredients as noted by the recipe and hit a wall when I came to the refrigeration part.  I like instant gratification, dough to cookie within 20 minutes max, so I was a little bummed when I read that I had to refrigerate the dough for 15-20 minutes.  I read further only to find out I had to roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and stick it into the freezer on cookie sheets (insert groan here).  I did the rolling and got two cookie sheets of dough and…my cookie sheets did not fit into my freezer, they were too long!  Tried again after completely emptying a shelf and still too long.  I carefully slid the rolled out dough with the parchment and laid it down with a slight crease into the empty shelf sans the cookie sheet.  Did the same for the second piece right onto the first piece.

20 minutes later I pulled the dough out with no incidents – sigh of relief – only to find out all my cookie cutters have disappeared!  Did I tell you that Mr. Little likes to clean, which is very nice.  But, everytime he cleans things simply disappear never to be found again.  Well, he had cleaned again.  I found a coffee mug that I thought would work and started cutting out cookies.

Baking the cookies was easy but I had to be careful not to over bake them as the appeal for this recipe is having the cookies maintain a soft and chewy texture.   Orange Gingerbread Rum Cookies   The rum glaze ties the whole thing together with a wonderful subtle kick.  Overall, this was an easy recipe that produced a light and not-too-sweet cookie with a grown up flavor.  I will make these cookies again but I plan on doubling the recipe and making my cookies slightly smaller.  And, just in case you are interested, here is the recipe:

  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated zest from 1 orange
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs each of ground cinnamon & ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbs (1, 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces & softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 tbs milk
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbs dark rum

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with  parchment paper.  Process sugar and zest together in food processor, about 30 seconds.  Add flour, spices, baking soda, and salt (process until combined).  Add butter and process until mixture is sandy, about 15 seconds.  Add molasses and 2 tablespoons milk; process until dough is evenly moistened.  Divide dough in half and roll each half to 1/4-inch thickness between two large sheets of parchment paper; freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.

Peel parchment from dough.  Using 3-inch round cutter, cut cookies and place 3/4 inch apart on prepared baking sheets, gathering and rerolling scraps.  Bake until centers are set, 8 to 11 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheers halfway through baking.  Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to write rack to cool completely.

Whisk confectioner’s sugar, rum, and remaining milk together in bowl until smooth.  Spread teaspoon glaze in top of each cookie, let dry 30 minutes.  Enjoy with a cup of tea/coffee or on its own.  Orange Gingerbread Rum Cookies

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