The Great Cookie Experiment – Frosted Orange Cookies

The Great Cookie Experiment is a guest series by Ms. Julie Barnson, my best friend and one of the great cooking brains I ping things off of.  This time I pinged guest posts off of her.  Go me.  🙂

The Great Cookie Experiment- Frosted Orange Cookies

Welcome to the Great Cookie Experiment!  This is actually my second round of the cookie experiment because I got some new recipes that I REALLY wanted to try.  This all came about a couple of years ago when I got bored with the same old cookie recipes that I always made:  chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, snicker doodle, you know, the old standards.  I wanted cookies that were delicious and exciting and different- cookies that I could be proud serving at parties or tucking into lunches.  Cookies that were worthy to become a part of the recipes my family requested over and over.  I began with one of my cookbooks with a lot of cookie recipes.  I made one cookie recipe a week, and tested it on my family and friends to see how they liked it.  Some were fabulous successes.  Some were dismal failures.  Some were just too complicated to be worth the effort.  Some I have made more than once because we loved them.

This time my cookie experiment has moved from an official cookbook to something a little more intimate- my own cookbook.  No, these are not recipes that I have developed, these are recipes that I have downloaded, been given by friends and neighbors or written down from magazines or newspapers, all of them collected, and none of them made.  If I’m going to go through the trouble of punching a hole in it, and sticking it in my folder, it had better be worthy of the spot!  Many of these recipes came from special cookie issues of Taste of Home magazine- to give credit where credit is due.  I love Taste of Home, I own a few of their cookbooks, and I thank them forever for what they have done for cooking.  Now, let’s put them to the test!

My first experiment was for Frosted Orange Cookies.  I have tried several different versions of orange cookies- most of them with orange zest and orange juice in the frosting, and a bit thrown in the batter.  They are delicious and refreshing.  THIS cookie took me by surprise, because it didn’t just make use of zest and some juice- it pureed the whole thing- except for the nasty pith which is removed.  The cookie calls for butter flavored shortening.  I didn’t have any, so I substituted butter instead.  I expected it to affect the texture, but usually I find that if I use butter it makes a crispier cookie.  This made the cookie cakelike with a more fragile consistency.  I would definitely stick to the recipe on this, and use the butter flavored shortening.  The cookies were good.  In spite of their texture, they had a rich flavor, and a decent orange taste.  I found, however, that it didn’t compare to other orange cookies.  The frosting was a bit pulpy, and there wasn’t a good sharp orange taste like you get with just the zest.  It does not get to keep its place in my book, but I’ll share the recipe anyhow.

Frosted Orange Cookies

2 medium navel oranges

½ cup butter-flavored shortening

1 cup sugar

½ cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon melted butter

With a sharp knife, score each orange into quarters; remove peel.  Use knife to remove white pith from peel and fruit; discard.  Quarter oranges and place in a blender.  Add peel, cover and process until smooth (mixture should measure ¾ cup).  In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in milk and 6 Tablespoons orange mixture.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add to creamed mixture until blended.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool.

For frosting, in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter, and enough of the remaining orange mixture to achieve spreading consistency.  Frost cookies.

Frosted Orange Cookies


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