Tag Archives: orange

Orange Spice Cookies

Not to brag, but I have been pretty pleased with the status of my 30 before 31 list lately. Never before have I had some many items crossed off at this point in the year; usually it’s a mad scramble to get things done come about January. I still have a long way to go, but it feels good to be checking things off regularly. My current push is to cross off #8 – Make 12 recipes from cookbooks I already own, before the end of the year. So far all the recipes have been good, and with the slightest tinge of Fall in the air, I felt it was a good time to try out the recipe for Orange Spice Cookies.

cookies5 cookies2 cookies1 Since I lacked not only the fluted pastry wheel, but any pastry wheel at all, I decided to cut these out the way I do most of the cookies I make. With one of the glasses from my cabinet 🙂cookies3 cookies6 cookies4


  • I had the worst time with this recipe. I couldn’t get the dough to hold together; it was too soft to roll out even after throwing it in the freezer for five minutes to help it set up. There was some very unladylike cursing and general railing about the folks at Southern Living and whether or not they even bother to try their own recipes before endorsing them. I finally ended up adding extra flour, and everything was peachy, though I sill planned a scathing review… then I realized that I made a teeny tiny error when putting these cookies together. And by teeny tiny, I mean I accidentally doubled the amount of butter called for. So yeah, it was all on me, and I am really glad I didn’t write anything unkind before I figured out my mistake.
  • The only real criticism I have for the final product is that it is really sweet. The cookies are pretty sweet on their own, and adding the icing just takes it a little too far for me. After rolling it around in my mind a bit, I think I’ll probably trade the the icing for a dark chocolate drizzle or dipping the cookies in dark chocolate next time I make them.

Chocolate Quick & Easy: English Chocolate Tea Bread

In pursuit of getting one step closer to crossing off #8 off of my 30 before 31, I pulled out a cookbook I received for Christmas from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. It’s chock full of chocolaty perfection, and I was eager to make something Andy and I could quickly grab as a snack in between running errands and our household chores.B1
After perusing the book for a few minutes, I landed on this tea bread. It was pretty simple to whip up, and I thought with a couple of tweaks it would be pretty perfect for us.



  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each. If the mixture starts to curdle beat in 1-2 tablespoons of the four.
  4. Mix in the chocolate, the crasins, the pecans, the vanilla and the orange zest. Sift the flour and gently fold into the mixture.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and create a small well down in the center with the back of a spoon.
  6. Place loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
  7. Leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes then carefully turn our to finish cooling.
  8. Serve in thin slices.


  • At first glance, it looks like I changed a lot of this recipe, and to a certain extent ,that is true. I replaced three of the ingredients because of Andy’s food allergies and my absolute disdain of raisins, but I  tried to stay close to the original recipe by swapping them for items that wouldn’t alter the integrity. There was still chocolate, dehydrated fruit, and nuts, so I think it all came out pretty true in the end.
  • I left my bread in the full hour, and it came out a little drier than I like, which isn’t a problem if you are actually serving this with tea, but I think next time I’ll cut 5-10 minutes off the cook time.

Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

I went a little crazy at Publix the other day. You see Pillsbury released a special holiday Cinnamon Bun Cake Mix, and I may have bought 3 boxes without even thinking about it. Okay, there was a little thought, but it went something like “Look! Special cinnamon cake!  Andy likes cinnamon and cake. I should buy a couple just in case they’re awesome.”  Fast forward to me trying to shove the boxes into my all ready jam-packed pantry and realizing that they would be in there forever if we didn’t like them. So, I decided to whip up a batch the week before Thanksgiving, knowing that if they weren’t our cup of tea, I could unload the extra mixes on unsuspecting family members. Plus, it gave me an excuse to try out a frosting recipe from Little City Adventures that I had my eye on.



  • 12oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2oz can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until combined and creamy.
  2. Add the vanilla and half of the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until combined and creamy.
  3. Add the remaining confectioner’s sugar and the milk. Beat until combined.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
  5. Once combined, continue mixing for at least 3 more minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting.
  6. Enjoy!


  • I was a tiny bit disappointed that this frosting never got fluffy. I tend to like a “lighter” frosting, but if thick and sinfully rich is your thing, this is the recipe for you.
  • While not my ideal texture, flavor-wise this was spot on. The cranberry and orange cut some of the richness, and I found myself eating far more than I should.
  • Also, the cake mix was really good. It was very cinnamon-y, and I could even see eating it without frosting. The house smelled amazing while it was baking.