Friday, October 06, 2006

Vanilla-Orange Drop Cookies

Orange Cookies! Very orange cookies in fact. I experimented with vanilla beans for the first time in this recipe; besides the vanilla extract, I scraped out the seeds of one vanilla bean. Did you know that vanilla beans are not actually bean pods? I was expecting a lima bean-like pod, but in actuality the beans were tiny little bits encased in the pod. Nifty! The other thing to know about vanilla beans is you can pay 8 bucks for a glass container and two vanilla beans. Next time I'm buying them wholesale.
* 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/2 oz/56 gm) unsalted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 large egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Orange Icing:
* 1/2 can (3 oz.) frozen concentrated orange juice
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
* 3 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Grease and flour a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, honey, egg and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Drop medium sized spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. When cookies are cool, ice with orange icing.
In bowl of an electric mixer or in other medium size bowl, combine all icing ingredients and mix on medium speed with electric stand mixer or electric hand mixer, until smooth.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.

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