Food by the Howells for the Howells...

Food by the Howells for the Howells...and anybody remotely related to a Howell, or who may have met a Howell at one point in their life, or...yeah, pretty-much anybody.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate-orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever had a chocolate orange? These cookies remind me of those. I decided to make these and give them out for Christmas this year. However, I am also trying to find ways to maximize my time and simplify, so I came up with what I think is a brilliant idea. Instead of baking cookies for hours, I decided to scoop them into round balls and freeze them and give them out that way. I made a cute label and called them "Cookies for Santa," with instructions on how to bake them. I thought this would also be a way to help others save time during this busy season by already having cookie dough at the ready on Christmas Eve instead of having to make some. Here is the cute label I made:
I think I may do this every year! Here is the recipe for these scrumptious cookies!

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1 cup sugar, the margarine, 1 Tbsp. orange peel and the egg in a large bow. Stir in flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. grated orange peel. Roll balls in sugar mixture. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness with bottom of glass. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

To freeze:
Scoop dough to make balls. Roll in sugar mixture and place close together on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer uncovered for 1-2 hours. Remove and put balls into plastic bags. Put back in freezer to save for baking.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Drops

These are the best cookies ever. Seriously. And they are perfect for Christmas. I make them every year and give them out (or just eat a ton myself). If you want to impress your friends and neighbors, these are the cookies to make.

8 oz. white chocolate baking squares or 8 oz. white chocolate chips. (Try to use chocolate with cocoa butter, as this will make the most tender cookies).
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes

Chop 4 oz. of the white chocolate (not necessary if using chips) and set aside. In a small saucepan, cook the remaining 4 oz. chocolate over low heat until melted. Cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium or high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in melted white chocolate. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in the rest by hand. Stir in the remaining 4 oz. white chocolate or chocolate chips and crushed candy canes. Drop by rounded teaspoons two inches apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Or you can use stoneware with no paper. Bake 8-10 minutes (longer on stoneware) at 375 degrees or until lightly browned around the edges. Transfer to wire rack and cool. Makes about 50. Store cookies in layers between waxed paper in an airtight container.

Note: I have found that it is best not to have the candy canes pulverized into powder, but to just try to get them into small pieces.