Every year for Christmas we always got oranges and nuts, sometimes unshelled nuts. It really wasn't very thrilling. We thought by the looks on our faces that someday they may get the hint. They, did not. To this day I still get them from my family for Christmas. Although it's a lot more exciting as an adult because I can actually do something with the two of 'em.
So, here I am making these Scotch cookies amongst my Scotch relatives and I learned oranges and nuts would've been quite a big deal in Scotland and a more than appropriate Christmas gift, since they are less than plentiful there. In California, you can't drive down the street without seeing some of either. If someone had explained to me as a child these mediocre stocking stuffers were part of my heritage, I might have taken more notice and less offense. Well, maybe not, but I can appreciate it now. Apparently, I'm not the only one who got oranges, here's more on the folklore behind Christmas oranges. Now, it's kinda heart-warming, like oranges are little Christmas miracles. Such a sentimentalist, I'll never look at oranges the same again.
These cookies are amazing and super simple to make, even to the baking novice, especially to the baking novice. There's nothing tricky in these cookies, no baking powder, no baking soda, meaning they won't rise or spread. They stay the shape you put them in the oven, which opens up a bunch of shape making opportunities, but they will also keep the finger print shape you make from patting them down, which is kinda cute. You know what would be extra cute if you have kids? Roll the dough out and make little handprint cookies, and thennn fill the handprints with chocolate. See how helpful I am?
What do they taste like?
They're definitely denser than standard cookies, but still soft. They break away kinda like a cookie, but have layers like a biscuit, like a sweet biscuit with nuts and fruit. They're amazing with coffee, if you're into that kind of thing.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 tablespoon of finely ground orange rind
- 1/2 cup of brazil nuts - coarsely chopped
- 1 cup butter - room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar - I used Sugar in the Raw
- 2 1/4 cups of flour
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Cream butter, sugar, orange rind together
- Slowly add in in two cups of flour, making sure it's blended all the way.
- Take 1/4 cup of flour and distribute it onto a cutting board. Work the dough for 2-3 minutes with your hands.
- Take your chopped brazil nuts and place them inside the muffin tins before putting the dough in.
- Break your dough into 12 about equal pieces and put the dough into the muffin tins.
- Pack the dough down with your fingers or if you want to avoid finger prints you can use the bottom of an appropriately sized cup or mug.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes on a middle rack. Mine took 20 minutes to bake, at sea level mind you.