My Grandmother was an awesome little old lady who produced a number of magical treats from her humble kitchen. Her amazing cookies were treasured by family and friends alike. The local pastors would make numerous "hospitality calls" to her home with the hopes of scoring some of her baked goodies. My personal favorite were her orange zest cookies (aka "The White Ones") a recipie I have never seen elsewhere. Sadly she passed away in 1998 and it has been many, many, years since I've had any of her cookies. In remembrence of her culinary skills I present "Grandma's Orange Zest Cookies!" Hopefully now others can enjoy a small part of what I cherished as a child.
Step 1: Ingredients
8oz pkg Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/3 cups white sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
one ripe orange
16oz pkg Semi-Sweet chocolate chips
Step 2: Zest!
Using the smaller (denser) end of a cheese grater or a zesting tool, shave off the orange rind. Go down to the whitish portion of the orange but try not to take any of the white off. It is possible to substitute some orange extract instead of using the rind, but this provides a better, fresher taste and aroma. The rest of the orange is not needed for this recipe so feel free to eat it at this time.
Step 3: Blend!
Blend together the Cream Cheese, Shortening, Sugar, Eggs, and Vanilla until smooth.
Step 4: Mix!
Using a large spoon mix in the Flour, Salt, and Orange Zest until it is well blended.
Step 5: Chip It!
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Step 6: Bake and Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Using a rounded teaspoon drop cookie dough on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
Cook for approximately 12 minutes. When you pull the cookies out they should still be rather soft, but the edges will be lightly browned. Cool on a rack and then enjoy!
These cookies have a very pleasant taste as the different flavors blend nicely. When fresh they have a strong orange "essence", almost more of an aroma than a taste. Makes approximately 36-40 cookies