The best part of baking during the holiday season is sharing those homemade treats with people that you love.  This season is one of the hardest for people dealing with an illness or grieving the loss of someone.  A gift of cookies is a nice way to remind them that you are there for them and love them.  This year I made warm Orange Spice Buttons.  Spicy cookies that sandwich sweet white chocolate are not only delicious, but they ship well too.

I use a mix of Bob’s Red Mill flours for this recipe:  All-Purpose and Organic Ivory Wheat.  I like the Ivory Wheat flour because it is a 100% whole grain, but has a lighter flavor and texture than regular whole wheat.  It is ideal with these spice cookies as the whole grain gives the cookies a little heft.  When using Ivory Wheat flour or any whole wheat flour, always cut it 50/50 with all-purpose flour or your baked goods may turn out too dense and heavy.  (If you want a cookie with a lighter texture, use only all-purpose flour in this recipe.  You will need 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.)

Special Equipment:  For this recipe you will need a 2-inch round biscuit cutter, another slightly smaller biscuit cutter, and a plastic straw.

 

 

Orange Spice Buttons

Makes about 30 cookie buttons

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour

1 cup (5 ounces)  Bob’s Red Mill Organic Ivory Wheat Flour

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) superfine sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened

2 ounces cream cheese

2 tsp vanilla extract

zest of one orange

6 ounces white chocolate (I used white chocolate chips for this recipe)

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and salt on low speed until combined.  Add butter, one piece at a time, and mix until dough looks crumbly and slightly wet, about two minutes.  Add cream cheese, vanilla, and orange zest and beat until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.  Transfer dough to counter and divide into two sections.  Press sections into two tight discs and wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.  Roll each disc of dough into 1/8″ thickness on floured surface.
  3. Using 2″ biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles and lay circles on baking sheets (the circles will not spread very much so OK to lay close together).  Gently reroll scraps until you have about 60 circles (or an even number of circles).
  4. For only half of your cookies (the “top” part of the cookies) take the smaller biscuit cutter and lightly stamp a circle on top of each cookie being careful to not cut all of the way through.
  5. Using your plastic straw, then cut out four small holes in the middle of each cookie to make cookies look like buttons.  Again, you need to only do this to the “top” cookies.  The “bottom” cookies can remain plain circles.
  6. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for about 10 minutes rotating sheets once to ensure even baking.  Remove cookies with a metal spatual and allow to cool on wire rack.
  7. Microwave white chocolate in container for about 2 minutes on 50% power.  Stir until smooth.  Spread “bottoms” of cookies with white chocolate and place a decorated “top” cookie on top.  Let chocolate set before serving.

And who did I make these special treats for?  These button cookies are for my dear friend who went through a very difficult divorce this year.  This is her first Christmas alone and I am shipping these cookies to her along with a note that says “I am thinking about you this holiday season.  I will call you Christmas morning, but do feel free to call me anytime to talk.”  THIS is why we bake.

Thank you Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post! Check out more delicious healthy recipes, snag coupons and find stores near you at BobsRedMill.com!

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Spiced Shortbread Buttons.