Showing posts with label Grand Marnier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grand Marnier. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cream Cheese Filled Orange Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Sweetened cream cheese, spiked with Grand Marnier, makes the perfect filling for a fresh orange pecan cookie sandwich, topped with orange glaze and sprinkled with more pecans. This cookie has three components but all are easy to make and easy to assemble, making a showpiece cookie you’d be pleased to serve, even at a fancy luncheon.

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange challenge is sandwich cookies, which leaves the flavors and fillings wide open to a combination of ingredients. This is the sort of challenge I love. I considered all kinds of crazy combinations before coming back to one I knew would work. Cream cheese and fresh oranges. I wanted a cookie that crumbled rather than smooshed like cake when bitten into, and a filling that was sweet but with a bite to complement the crunchy cookie. And the pecans? Well, if you’ve been reading along here a while, you know I love to add pecans whenever possible. These cookies are sweet, without being too sweet, if you know what I mean.

Many thanks to Laura of The Spiced Life who is in charge of this great group. Make sure you scroll on down past the recipe to see how my fellow Creative Cookie Exchange members navigated this cookie sandwich challenge.

Ingredients for 12-18 sandwich cookies (depending on how thin you slice them before baking)
For the cookies:
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1/4 cup, firmly packed, or 50g brown sugar
1 egg
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (Save the rest for the glaze.)
1 1/4 cup or 190g flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans, or 160g divided
(1/4 cup or 35g in dough, rest for rolling dough in.)

For the filling:
4 oz or 115g cream cheese, slightly oftened
1/4 cup or 60g butter, slightly softened
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 1/4 cups or 160g powdered sugar

For the orange glaze:
½ cup or 60g confectioners’ sugar
3-4 teaspoons fresh orange juice

Cream butter and sugars together, beating until light and fluffy. Add the egg, orange zest and juice and beat well.

Add in the flour, salt and baking soda and beat till fully combined.

Now add in 1/4 cup or 35g of the chopped pecans and beat again till incorporated.

Cover your work space with a large piece of cling film and sprinkle on the remaining chopped pecans.

Use a scoop or spoon to make one line of dough along the beginning of the pecans.

Use the cling film to roll the dough in the pecans and smooth the dough into a round log.

Once the dough log is covered, roll it to one side of the cling film and gather the remaining pecan pieces into a bowl and set aside. We’ll use some of them for decorating the cookies later.

Roll the log up as tightly as you can manage in the cling film and transfer it to a pan or cutting board and put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least three hours, until it is firm.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking trays by lining them with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Remove half the dough log at a time from the refrigerator, slice it into circles and place them on your prepared cookies sheets.

I cut mine a bit thick and ended up with about 26 slices, which seemed like a goodly number until I remembered that I was making sandwich cookies. Cut them a little thinner for more cookies.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Make the filling and the glaze
To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together until smooth.

For the orange glaze, add fresh orange juice to the powdered sugar just a teaspoon at a time, until you reach a good consistency that runs a little but won’t pour off the cookies. You may not need all the orange juice.

Once the cookies are completely cool, turn them golden bottom up and spoon or pipe on enough filling on half of them to cover, about the same thickness as the cookies.

Top with the remaining cookies.

Spoon a little glaze on the top of each cookie and sprinkle with some of the leftover chopped pecans.

If your home is cool, these shouldn’t need chilling to set up. If you are in a warm climate, you will want to store the filled cookies in the refrigerator. This will make them less crunchy, but still delicious.


Are you a sandwich cookie fan? Have a look at all of the wonderful cookies we have for you today!

If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. 

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes - be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). We post all together on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Grand Marnier Orange Muffins #MuffinMonday

I am going to hazard a guess that most of my readers can walk into a grocery store or a liquor store and pick up a bottle of anything that suits their fancy, given the budget and an ID that says they are of age.  Here in Dubai, it’s not that simple.  When we arrived last November, my husband handed in his passport to the relevant authorities and waited almost three months for a resident’s visa.  Then the application process began to get a permit to buy alcohol.

I am not sure what the hold up was, but that was finally approved in June and handed over to him in August.  And it's only good for one year, expiring next June, of course.  He has a monthly spending limit and there are only a couple of businesses that are allowed to import and sell alcohol so you have to go to one of their outlets to shop.  And make sure you bring the permit card or alcohol license, as it is called here!

Up until this summer, we were stocking the bar with duty free purchases from when he traveled.  Now we are like real people who can go to the store and buy another bottle of wine when the urge hits.  Or when the weekend comes.  I’m sharing this little window into my world just to tell you that I used Grand Marnier in this recipe because, with a little skip and a jump, I can go into our bar now and find almost whatever I need for any recipe. Or go buy it.  Yay!

Since this week’s muffin ingredient is oranges, the orange liqueur intensified the flavor and made these muffins wonderful.  As they baked the whole house smelled like I was sitting in a citrus grove, basking in the warm sunshine.

Do you ever bake with liqueurs?  Please share your favorite additions by leaving a comment.

1 3/4 cups or 220g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 115g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/2 cup or 120ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup or 60ml sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup or 55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Zest of 1 orange

Optional but recommended – sugar to sprinkle on before baking.  (I used several tablespoons full.  Don’t be shy. When it bakes, the sugar makes a nice crunchy crust.)

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your muffin pan by greasing it or lining it paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt.  Grate in the orange zest and stir well.

In another bowl, whisk together the Grand Marnier, sour cream, egg, melted butter and orange juice.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Top each muffin cup with a generous sprinkle of sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Grand Marnier White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins #MuffinMonday

It's Muffin Monday again!  Sometimes I don't know how the week goes by so quickly but this week, oh, my goodness, this week was special.  I was honored to be invited on a Benevolence Committee charity audit to Damanhour, a two-hour train ride north of Cairo.  I took the Cairo metro for the very first time and only got knocked down once by the stampeding hordes.  No kidding!  I was trying to get off at our stop and the women (I was traveling in the ladies-only car.) pushed in so hard that they knocked me over backwards, back into the car.  I don't know who was more stunned, them or me!  They helped me up and I went on my way.  Next time I know to lean into the crowd and push just as hard to get out.  Anyhoo, I caught the train to Damanhour with two other lovely ladies and we were met on the other side by Father Daniel, a Coptic Christian priest, who took us around to several orphanages, charity dental and medical clinics, a preschool and a small home that houses needy girls and teaches them to sew so they can earn money for themselves now and later for their families.  We were told that when a girl gets married, she is given a sewing machine so she can always provide for herself.

We collected receipts from purchases the Benevolence Committee had funded this last year and I took a ton of photos of people and places as well as the items that were purchased.  It was such a joy to meet the gentle folk that run the homes and clinics and other enterprises and clearly care so deeply for the needy they serve.  The orphanages house the sweetest girls and boys, all Coptic Christians, but the clinics help anyone, Christian and Muslim alike.  (Scroll down past the recipe to see a few photos of our trip.)

It was my privilege to be a part of the visit and help in a small way by asking questions which will become part of the audit report and taking photos.  I am going to miss the Benevolence Committee ladies when I leave.  Do they ever have a heart for the poor here in Egypt!

Meanwhile back to our regularly scheduled muffins!  This week's muffin is from a culinary mystery - frankly a genre I didn't even know existed! - called Killer Pancake.  It called for actual cranberries, which I didn't have, so I had to change the recipe to include jellied cranberry sauce, which I did have.  I also added white chocolate chips because they go so well with cranberries.  They turned out wonderful!

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14 oz or 397g can jellied cranberry sauce, divided into 1 cup and a 1/2 cup or about 235ml and 120ml.
1/8 cup or 30ml Grand Marnier liqueur
1/3 cup or 80ml canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup or about 85g white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C and either grease your 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper liners.  (I use paper liners but give the whole thing a quick spray with Pam so that any drips or overflow on the tin will clean off easily.)

In one big mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Whisk the one cup or 235ml cranberry sauce, the Grand Marnier, the oil and the eggs together.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just moist.

Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Put one scoop or large spoon into each muffin cup.

Divide the extra cranberry sauce between the muffins.

Top with the rest of the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Remove from the muffin tin and finish cooling on a rack.


For those who are interested, here are a few photos from the Benevolence Committee trip to Damanhour.

Father Daniel and our translator, examining receipts

Dr. Ebraam showing off the blood analyser that was funded by the Benevolence Committee. 
One of the dental clinics.  The machines are powered by a small generator so that power outages won't stop treatment. 

Girls are the same the world over!  Bed in the girls' orphanage. 

Except, perhaps here, they are more devout than most.

Some of the sweet girls leaned out to say goodbye as we left. 
Sewing uniforms on contract from one of the Christian schools. 

They do a most professional job. 

The old Coptic church built in 1885.  I did get permission before taking photos. 
And right next door, the brand new church.


And inside.
The bishop's reception room.  This was in his residence and we only got a quick peek
on the way to the bathroom.  It was very grand and formal. 

A few street scenes from Damanhour.

Laundry day.

Looks like someone got a bread delivery when they weren't home. 

View from the roof of one of the homes. Don't miss the lady watching the scenery from her curtained balcony. 

Lady cleaning her roof top home.  Must confess I had hidden
my camera by the time she looked up.  We nodded at each other and smiled. :)

Beautiful mosque near the train station.