I have a bit of an obsession with cookies. As in, I usually make 4 dozen cookies every other week when I get on a cookie kick. When I was pregnant with Sweet Pea, the thing I craved the most after chocolate milk (man, I worshiped the Nesquik bunny) was cookies with dark chocolate, cherry, and caramel chips. SO GOOD. I still make them all the time. Best use of pregnancy brain ever. They are so good, Tom would go out at 9:00 at night to pick up butter and sugar if I needed cookies.
I suppose most pregnancy cravings aren’t quite so beneficial to the partner in the relationship. The mystical pickles-and-ice-cream combo has become cliche because of the utter ridiculousness of the idea. It’s funny that among some of my friends, the women who craved sweets and fruit had girls, and the women who craved meat and salt had boys. I would now like to conduct a scientific survey of cravings: if you fall into either of these categories, let me know! There has to be an old wives’ tale about this somewhere.
In any event, I love tinkering with cookie recipes. I have a base recipe that’s a standard, and I’ve had it for so long I don’t know where it came from. I usually take the base dough and add crazy mix-ins to make whatever I’m craving that week. This week’s experiment? Creamsicle cookies! Ah, the deliciousness of orange and white chocolate. Makes me think of the ice cream truck that came around the neighborhood when we were kids, before ice cream trucks became harbingers for drugs and child abusers. The creamy orange sherbert and vanilla ice cream on a stick was summer at its best. So, I thought I’d try making it into a cookie for the winter (yes, I know it’s April), when we’re expecting 6 inches of snow tomorrow in our neck of the woods. Sigh.
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. orange extract
1 Tbsp. orange zest (I guesstimated using the zest of one large orange)
2 egg whites or egg-free substitute equivalent to two eggs
1/3 c. water (I’d like to try this with orange juice next time for even more flavor)
12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips (this makes for very chippy cookies, use 1 1/2 c. if you like more dough)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In large bowl, cream sugars, butter, and orange extract with mixer on medium speed. Beat in egg whites and orange zest. Gradually beat in dry ingredients alternately with water (batter will be very thick). Stir in white chocolate chips.
Drop dough by the heaping teaspoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes until tops are lightly browned and centers are set (in our oven, darker non-stick cookie sheets take 11 minutes, and lighter silver sheets take 12 minutes). These cookies have nice crispy edges, but soft centers. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookies.