I recently came across an old article posted on the New York Times website which talks about the Psychology of Gift Giving. With Christmas only a few days away I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you today.
The main point of the article basically helped reiterate something we’ve known all along… It’s the act or thought of giving and not the gift itself that matters. It lets our friends and loved ones know they are important to us and that we care about them regardless of what the gift itself might be; which in turn makes us feel good.
A win-win situation if you ask me!
And… because I want you to know I love and care about you too!
I decided to bring out my mom’s old cookbook and make you something special.
These cookies are some of the best Orange flavored cookies I’ve ever tasted!
The grated orange zest gives them the most bright and refreshing orange flavor and the addition of vanilla bean infused sugar makes them out of this world delicious!
The words I would use to describe these cookies are “clouds, orange, and sneaky”.
You might want to slip into a dream after taking one bite, but once the burst of orange hits you… all bets are off! Instead of slipping into a dream, you’ll most likely feel your hand reaching over to grab another.
Mexican Orange Cookies
slightly adapted from my mom’s cookbook
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 oranges, zested
1 cup vanilla bean infused granulated sugar
1/2 cup orange juice, approx 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Whip together butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and orange zest and whip until creamy add eggs one at a time.
Slowly add flour and orange juice. Divide dough in half. Cut two sheets of parchment or wax paper, roll dough into 2″ logs and wrap with parchment paper. Dough will be sticky so use the parchment or wax paper to help you roll and shape the logs. Chill dough overnight.
When ready to bake. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove and unwrap dough from the refrigerator, cut dough into 1″ thick slices dip tops into turbinado or sanding sugar and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until bottoms are light golden brown.
inspired from Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard
2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
Place two cups of granulated sugar in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
Slice vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into the jar with sugar. Stick vanilla bean into the sugar.
Place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening of the jar, then seal. Shake the jar to help distribute the vanilla bean seeds.
Allow the sugar to infuse for 2 weeks.
Note: A tip I learned from Chef Sherry. Never throw away your used vanilla beans. Stick them whole or grind them up and add them to your jar with infused sugar. Thank just replenish with more granulated sugar as needed.