We've Only Just Begun...

In a city as large as Chicago, one should seldom be at a loss for entertainment. There were, in fact, several things that I considered doing with my holiday, including the Taste of Polonia festival, where I would have found pierogis and other Polish treats, or visiting another church on my list. However, after being out and about the previous two days, I was overcome with the desire to stay home and nest. After all, it is now September, which means that December is a mere three months away, and that can only mean one thing -- it is time to start workshopping new cookie recipes for the 2010 Cookie Bonanza!

Although last year's Ginger & Lemon Cookies were well-received, since they occupy the citrus cookie spot in my assortment, and I am ambivalent about citrus-flavored baked goods in general, I couldn't help but wonder if there was something better out there. So when Mom passed along an article she had seen in the Trib for orange-flavored cookies, I decided to give them a whirl. The original recipe had some odd suggestions that I couldn't bring myself to trust, so I altered the recipe slightly, and was reasonably pleased with the results. Glazing the cookies hot out of the oven keeps them moist, and concentrates the orange flavor. I'm still not convinced by the idea of mixing fruit with my cookies, but if you like orange, you should consider giving these a try...

Orange Delight Cookies
adapted from the Chicago Tribune, July 30, 2010

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest of one orange

1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, about 3 oranges
3 cups powdered sugar
zest of two oranges

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Mix milk and vinegar in a cup; stir in baking soda until dissolved.
2. Beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
3. Alternate adding flour and milk mixtures to the bowl. Beat until smooth. Refrigerate dough 3 hours.
4. Whisk together orange juice, sugar and zest for a glaze.
5. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls; place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned on bottom, 10-12 minutes.
6. Dip warm cookies into the glaze; set on cooling racks to dry at least three hours.

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