Merry Christmas Eve!
For some reason, these are cookies we only ever made at Christmas, but I really don’t see why they can’t become year-round staples. The recipe is from my Babba, my mom’s mom, and they are good eaten at any temperature — warm, room temperature, and cold. In fact, we usually ate them cold because my mom stores all the cookies in the garage, where it is cooler, and where the kids can sneak as many as they want…
Recipe: Coconut Orange Drop Cookies
Ingredients for Cookies:
- 3/4 c shortening
- 1 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 2 1/2 c flour
- 1/4 t salt
- 3/4 c orange juice
- 1 c coconut
Ingredients for Glaze:
- 1 1/2 T butter, melted
- 2 c powdered sugar
- roughly 1/4 c orange juice
Directions for Cookies:
- Cream shortening and sugar.
- Add eggs and beat until smooth.
- Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with the orange juice, beating smooth after each addition.
- Add coconut.
- Drop from teaspoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 375 F for about 10 minutes.
- Ice while warm.
Directions for Icing:
- Mix ingredients in a small bowl with a fork.
- Add more orange juice as necessary, and ice cookies shortly after they come out of the oven.
Although these cookies aren’t from the usual stack of Christmas recipes, meringues are a favorite of mine, so I’ve been playing around with a few different kinds. Since none of the cookie recipes I’ve done in this series have contained chocolate, I figured I should make sure that chocolate was represented somewhere. Because, really, it’s not dessert without a little chocolate!
Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Meringue Cookies
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 t cream of tartar
- 1 c + 2 T sugar, superfine if possible
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 c dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment until the whites become foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar and turn up the speed, beating until just fluffy. Then gradually add the sugar while continuing to whisk, so the sugar gets incorporated without collapsing the egg whites.
- When all the sugar has been added, add the vanilla and increase the speed to high, whisking until the meringue is firm and glossy, 5 to 7 more minutes.
- Either make small meringue cookies using a spoon or place the meringue into a piping bag with a medium-size round tip attached and make small teardrop-shaped meringues on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, then place in the 225 F oven. Bake for 1 hour without opening the oven door, and then turn off the heat and leave the meringues in the oven overnight to dry out.
- Melt the chocolate either in the microwave, about 30 seconds, or over a double-boiler.
- Dip the base of each meringue in the chocolate, then place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Allow the chocolate to dry at room temperature, then place the cookies in an airtight container.
Gingersnaps are one of the most popular cookies my mom makes during the holidays every year. She quadruples the recipe, to start, and often has to make more before Christmas. They are the perfect version of a gingersnap: crunchy around the edges but still soft in the center. Additionally, they are great cookies to make with kids because you can set up an assembly line for rolling the dough into balls and rolling the balls in the sugar. That’s what we used to do — with no kids here, I recruited my husband, and things went much faster.
- 1 c sugar, plus more for rolling
- 3/4 c shortening
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 4 T molasses
- 2 c flour
- 2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t cloves
- 1 t ginger
- 1 t cinnamon
- In an electric mixer, cream the sugar and shortening.
- Add the egg and beat until the dough is fluffy.
- Add molasses* then the dry ingredients, beating in between.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight.
- Roll in teaspoon size balls then roll in sugar.
- Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes (until sugar doesn’t sparkle) on cookie sheets that are either lined with parchment paper or slightly greased.
*When measuring the molasses, it helps to lightly spray the measuring cup with cooking spray so the molasses doesn’t stick!
p.s. No Snapshot Sunday this week, enjoy the cookie recipes instead!