One of my favorite holiday traditions is to make festive cookies and share them with friends and family. I love the reactions and looks I get when I know that I am sharing a bit of myself and putting a smile on the person’s face. It is a priceless gift.
2015 marks the 5th year I have been participating in “The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap” since its inaugural appearance in 2011. Lindsey from Love & Olive Oil in partnership with Julie from The Little Kitchen has founded and orchestrates this fun and tasty event. With the brand partners – Dixie Crystals, Land O Lakes and OXO who match the donations to Cookies for Kids Cancer and send us bloggers some special goodies for participating. As a blogger, we give a tiny donation to Cookies for Kids Cancer to participate in the cookie swap, which is such a rewarding thing to do and makes a difference in a child’s life.
I have made various types of cookies over the past five years for this cookie swap. In 2011 I made Chocolate Dipped GingerbreadBiscotti, 2012 I got colorful with Holiday Checkerboard Cookies, 2013 was a year of sparkle with my Jeweled Ornament Sugar Cookies and 2014 was these divine Cranberry and Orange Shortbread Cookies. For 2015 I continued with the shortbread theme and made my Orange Pecan Cookies. The end result was tasty little two-bite wonder – simple to make and bake.
I sent a dozen cookies to my three matches –
from Grumpy’s Honeybunch, Melanie from Gather for Bread and Lauren from Bite of Health Nutrition. I hope they arrived safe,
unbroken and were enjoyed. Within a
week, my cookies arrive at my office from the bloggers I was matched with. I received Triple Mint Cookies from Michelle
from My California Kitchen, then Snicker doodle Toffee Cookies from Jennifer
from Kitchen Serf and finally Red Velvet Cookies from Alice
from Dining with Alice. All of the cookies were incredibly tasty and
enjoyed by many.
Orange Pecan Cookies
Makes 4 dozen
2 Sticks butter, room temperature
½ Cup + 4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Grated
½ Cup Dried
Oranges, finely chopped
½ Cup Pecans, Toasted and chopped
2 Cup Flour
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
2 pinches of salt
In a stand mixer, cream the butter well until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar slowly until incorporated. Add the vanilla, orange zest and salt and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder slowly until well incorporated. Slowly add the dried oranges and pecans and mix quickly.
Form dough into 2 logs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap or parchment paper. Slice ½ inch rounds and space about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until pale golden brown, about 12 minutes and let cool. Store in an airtight container.