Thursday, December 20, 2012

Scrumptious Orange Bites

Scrumptious orange bites are an easy to make cookie that is great for cookie exchanges and/or bake sales where you need to make a few dozen or more cookies quickly.  They are especially pretty when frosted, and would be a fun thing to make with your kids help - as they do not require a lot of precision.  They are also easily hand-mixed (another benefit), as the butter is melted and cooled...and the rest of the ingredients added to in.  The addition of carmel chips makes them especially decadent!  Enjoy!

Makes almost 4 dozen

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups chopped pitted dates (I prefer to buy mine whole and chop them)
1 cup packed light brown sugar (these cookies are somewhat sweet; sugar could probably be reduced to 1/2 cup)
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup orange juice (plus 1-2 TBS more if making glaze)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups pecans, chopped
1-2 cups powdered sugar, for dusting or glaze

Heat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Turn heat off when melted, and stir in dates, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.  Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, stir in eggs, butterscotch chips, and pecans.  Then, add flour mixture.  Mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

Drop generous tablespoon-size portions onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Bake about 10 minutes, until the edges are brown and the cookies are soft and puffy looking (do not over-bake).  Remove from the oven and let rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes until cool enough to handle without falling apart.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Lightly dust cookies with powdered sugar just before serving or glaze/frost them with 2 cups powdered sugar and 4 TBS orange juice.

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