'Tis the season for wool sweaters! And Sweater Weather Cookies.
As you know, I love fall. I came up with this recipe specifically for this sliver of time on the calendar.
Oranges probably don't spring to mind when you think of fall. (Ba-dum-dum.) After all, this is apple-picking season. But for me, the smell and taste of orange and spice instantly fill my head with images of low-angled sunlight filtered through golden leaves fluttering gently on a crisp breeze that carries the scent of the season's first wood-burning fire. Ah, yes. I do love this season.
My main concern when developing this cookie was to balance the orange and spice flavors. I knew I was going to use my old trick of tripling the citrus--zest, juice, and extract--to infuse the cookies with flavor, but I knew I had to be careful. Too much orange would make these cookies taste as though you were biting into a glass of Tang. The same is true with the spice. Too much cinnamon or clove would taste as though you had just swallowed a mouthful of potpourri.
To solve the problem of overdoing the orange, I used 1/4 cup of orange juice, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon of orange extract. It's the perfect amount to flavor the cookies.
For the spice, I hit the pantry and dug out a few secret ingredients. The first was Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice tea. Simply empty the contents of six Mandarin Orange Spice tea bags into your wet ingredients. The second secret ingredient was King Arthur cinnamon chips. A cup of these in the dry ingredients does the trick.
Believe me. These cookies taste as good as they smell. Orangey, spicy, bright, slightly smokey, and autumnal. Delicious.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies. (To see this recipe in process, check out Picturing Sweater Weather Cookies.)
1 stick butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
t tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
6 Mandarin Orange Spice tea bags
3 cups oatmeal|
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
- Add the combined wet ingredients to the creamables. Mix together until well incorporated.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the combined creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Shape dough into balls--about 2 tablespoons each.
- Place dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.