Friday, July 11, 2014

The Cookie Project: Orange Crisps!

Today's recipe comes from the files of my friend Pam Richardson.  We met through our musical children and bonded on our stint for the Orchestra Board (OPUS) at Edmond Memorial High School. Pam was our President and took the bored out of Board Meetings. I learned of her baking skills through some of those meetings, and her ongoing friendship is a special treat.  Pam is a multi-talented woman who takes great pictures, writes beautifully and can bake just about anything.  Join me in encouraging her to start her own blog really soon!
Orange Crisp Cookies
by Pam Richardson

Hmm . . . Wonder why she picked this recipe?!
As a mom of three boys, I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the past 25 years.  I tried to involve them in the meal preparations, usually without much success.  There was without doubt a race to the table when the food was ready, but just not much interest in getting the food from the fridge, pantry, or cabinet to the table.  That was unless I was baking.   Then,  our small kitchen was filled with more bodies than actually fit without bringing back  “The Bump” from the 80’s.  We would dance our way through a Texas Sheet Cake, a loaf of homemade bread, Grammie's Chocolate Pie, or numerous varieties of homemade cookies.  The cookies were the favorite because who doesn't like cookie dough?  If I really needed six dozen and had some helpers in the kitchen, I knew I’d better double the recipe to have a chance of coming out with six dozen freshly baked cookies.  The Orange Crisp Cookies have been a family favorite through four generations.  This recipe card came out of my mom’s recipe box that was passed down from her mother.    In today’s electronic world, I find myself so often going to the internet on my iPad to get a recipe.  So this recipe card, with all its discoloration, takes me back to my grandmothers kitchen.  I see her face and that sweet smile and recall all the features of her very small kitchen.   There’s the porcelain top table and the big sink, the old gas range and grandma's step stool.     I can hear the sound of the screen door slamming and the loud hum of the refrigerator.
Pam's Grandma Florence

Little did I know at the time, but there was much more going on in that kitchen than I realized.  I thought we were making cookies, but as I have raised my own family, I know we were making memories.  So as a relatively new “empty nester” I look for ways to continue to connect with the boys when they pass through the house and often times it is a good meal shared around the table or a goodie bag of homemade cookies to take with them when they return to the lives they are building as adults.

As I was going through my mom’s recipe box after she passed away, I found a recipe for the Orange Crisp Cookies neatly typed on a fresh new card.  Attached to the card was this message, “I had the pleasure of making these cookies with my mother when I was just a little girl.  Since then, I’ve made them with my girls and now with my five grandsons.  I sincerely hope making and enjoying these cookies create as many precious memories for you as they have for me!”.

Orange Crisp Cookies (makes two dozen)
2 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup shortening (I used butter!)
2 Tablespoons orange rind (I couldn't find orange rind, and so I used 2 Tablespoons of Orange Extract)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup White Sugar
1 Egg, well beaten

*Mix together ingredients.  Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, press with fork.

*The dough looks separated like little brown peas, but it mushes together nicely when you dig in with a tablespoon.  I did a better job of not eating the dough this time- so the two dozen was real. 

These cookies are so different and really delicious-  Happy Baking!