There are foods that nourish the body and soul. And then, of course, there are foods that nourish the soul, but do little good for the body. These cookies fall under the latter category, but don’t let that discourage you from making them. Besides, there is value in foods that only feed the soul even if they offer little to no sustenance. They recall fond memories, swaddling us in comfort and transporting us to a special place or time in our lives. What these soul-nourishing foods lack in sustenance they make up for in emotional comfort. After all, we don’t call them comfort foods for nothing!
My yoga instructor introduced me to the idea of meditating while cooking. She explained her way of doing it. She said that she typically lights a candle while preparing the meal, blesses the ingredients as she handles them and thanks them for nourishing her body. Recently, I’ve been implementing the practice of meditating while cooking. It’s made me more mindful in the kitchen and helps me set an intention for the meal and foods I prepare. While preparing these cookies I thought lovingly about the the people that they were going to. The first batches were the dessert for the lunch that I’d prepared for the folks at IXDS. I thought about how fortunate I am to cook for them. They gave me my first cooking job in Berlin. The people there are always so enthusiastic about my cooking and generous with their compliments for the meals I make. Their kudos and appreciation have helped make me more confident in my cooking abilities. Since I started cooking for them, I’ve made a reputation for myself there as the only cook who provides desserts to go along with their meals; it’s something that lots of people on the team look forward to when I prepare their lunch. The thought of knowing that makes me smile. For me, sharing a dessert with them is my way of thanking them. The second batches were sent out to friends who recently joined me in celebrating my 40th birthday. I feel really fortunate to have such wonderful friends in my life who were willing to help me celebrate my big day. I was really touched and felt the love at my birthday gathering, and I wanted to express my gratitude for having them in my life.
Orange, White Chocolate, Pecan & Cranberry Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies
8 ounces butter
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange liquor
the zest of 1 orange
2¾ cups flour
1¼ baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
10-12 ounces white chocolate chunks
1 cups pecans, roughly chopped
¾ cups dried cranberries
For best results, make sure that the butter and egg (or eggs if you’re doubling the recipe) are at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 375° F or 190° C.
Start by creaming the butter and sugars together. Then, add the honey, orange liquor, egg and the zest of 1 orange. Continue beating the mixture for 15 seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and sea salt. Next, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Then, add the white chocolate, pecans and cranberries. Mix until the white chocolate, pecans and cranberries are scattered throughout the dough, being careful not to overmix.
Roll the dough into 1¼” balls. Place the dough on a sheet pan, roughly 2″ apart from one another. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Once baked, remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes, before removing from the pan.
I use a cookie scoop to ensure that the cookies are uniform in size.
This cookie dough freezes beautifully. To freeze them, prepare the dough as instructed and roll out into balls. Then, place the balls onto a plate or sheet tray and place in the freezer until frozen. Then, place the frozen dough into freezer bags. When you’re ready to bake them off, bake them as instructed; a preheated 350° F oven for 10 minutes.