New recipes to try, newly developed recipes to test, and a bunch of old favorites and I am excited about all of them. Does that make me old-fashioned? And me one of the original feminists, hammering at that glass ceiling. Young women, it's okay to cook for your family. Better than okay, it is wonderful. You cherish and nourish your family all at the same time.
So today I planned on baking a batch of Chinese Almond Cookies, and took out the butter and lard with that project in mind, but a very few hours shopping have knocked me out and I'm sitting on my ass instead. I hurt, damn it.
I do, however, have those four cookie recipes in reserve, and I would like to start sharing them with you, especially since cookie-baking is scheduled to take a back seat to Thanksgiving cooking for the remainder of the week. This is one of my favorites - I am a freak for citrus - from Camilla Saulsbury. Go to Amazon and buy her book. Seriously.
Mandarin Orange Cookies
1 - 18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup canola oil
1 extra large egg
grated zest of one large orange
1 - 11 oz. can Mandarin oranges, well-drained and coarsely chopped (I used kitchen scissors)
There are a few minor changes from the original recipe, based on what I actually did. Also, I did not bother with the icing. Too much work and too sweet for me and my family. Besides, the unadorned cookie is fabulous as is.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Silpat or no-stick spray your cookie sheets.
In a large mixing bowl combine half of the cake mix with the oil, egg, and orange zest. With an electric mixer (I used hand-held) beat on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the remaining cake mix with a wooden spoon and/or rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in the chopped Mandarin oranges.
With a cookie scoop (I used the 2 tablespoon scoop I favor for cookies) place the dough on the cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-14 minutes until the cookies are set at the edges but barely set at the center. The bottoms of the cookies should be an even golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then using a metal spatula, move the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies.