Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kitchen Adventures: Orange Juice Cookies

I'm a typical college student in that my cooking repertoire consists of Easy Mac, frozen pizza, and various things you can prepare in a toaster. I've become determined as of late to change that, but wasn't sure where to start. My mom gave me a copy of Eat This: You'll Feel Better, Dom DeLuise's first cookbook, for my birthday. She had seen reviews that said his recipes were easy to follow, plus I've always liked Italian food.

Trying to cook an entree was intimidating to me, so I figured a dessert recipe was a good baby step before trying something else from the book. After all, I've been helping with baking (and later doing it on my own) since I was about 4 years old. I chose his recipe for Orange Juice Cookies because we already had all the ingredients on hand.

As I set to work, I thought I had read the book wrong because the recipe said to mix the wet ingredients in a blender. I frowned curiously at the page. Yeah, it definitely said "blender."

"Well, you were the gourmet, Dom," I said fondly. He'd been one of my grandma's favorite celebrities; his voice had more or less been the soundtrack of my childhood via classic cartoons like Oliver & Company and An American Tail.

Once the dough was mixed, it had to be kneaded by hand. I stand an impressive five-foot-even, making this task a little difficult. I had dough almost the way up to my elbows when I realized it needed more flour, because it was incredibly sticky. Not surprising since there was orange juice in the batter. Now I just had to figure out how to add more flour without getting this goo all over the entire kitchen. Eventually, I was able to put the flour in and make the dough the right consistency.

I rolled out the cookies and popped them in the oven. The second issue I encountered was that I ended up having to bake them a lot longer than the time listed in the recipe. I had no trouble making the orange juice glaze to dip the cookies in once they were baked. They tasted slightly chalky, probably because I ended up adding too much flour. Overall, though, they were pretty good.

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