Iced Orange Cookies

Iced Orange Cookies.

Summer baking calls for bright, citrusy flavors; and ever since painting my lemons last week, I have had citrus on the brain!

I found a great old-fashioned cookie recipe for these cakey iced orange cookies from Taste of Home.   I had just bought a bag of clementines, so I knew they would work great for this.

I gave some to my Dad for Father’s Day and served some to our kiddos at our Father’s Day brunch for Hubby.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the best flavor.  These cookies freeze well and taste amazing right out of the freezer on a hot summer day!

Iced Orange Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2 dozen
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup Butter Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp freshly-grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Icing
    • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in orange juice and zest.  Add baking powder, salt and then flour to creamed mixture until well combined.

Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart.   Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

In a small bowl, combine icing ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle generously over cooled cookies.

TIP:  I refrigerated the cookie dough for a couple hours making it easier to work with and hold its shape.  


Cheers & Hugs,

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts.

Phew!  That name is a mouthful….

But it really does say it all!

And I’m betting you would love a mouthful of these simple, but elegant and amazingly delicious treats!

I made these this past weekend for a Sunday family football dinner.

Would you believe me if I told you there are only three ingredients?!?!

Well – four if you count the powdered sugar you sprinkle on top.

Puff Pastry is such a dream to work with!

Keep these ingredients on hand and this recipe up your sleeve when you need a quick, but fabulous dessert or treat.

I’m betting you won’t be sorry. 😉

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out one sheet of puff pastry, and cut into 9 squares approximately 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in center of each square.  Top with a piece of dark chocolate.  Pull all four corners to center and pinch to seal.

Bake for 15-18 minutes on baking stone or cookie sheet until puffed and lightly browned.    Remove to cooling rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve warm or cold.  


Cheers & Hugs,

Classic Apple Dumplings

apple dumpling cover

One of my hubby’s favorite treats this time of year is Apple Dumplings, so after a crisp Autumn morning walk on Saturday followed by a cup of coffee and phone call to catch-up with my BFF, I decided I was going to make some of these classic Fall favorites.  Nothing fancy, just pure nostalgic goodness.

apple dumpling apple

It’s apple time of year in Western Pennsylvania, so the varieties to choose from are plenty.  You can use pretty much any kind of apple you love best.  The only one I NEVER buy and NEVER bake with is Red Delicious.  Never could understand why they are so popular…

apple dumpling apple peeler corer slicer

The apple/peeler/slicer I have from back in my Pampered Chef days sure comes in handy for this job, but you can do by hand if you don’t have one.

apple dumpling apple peels

A fun little tip to make your house smell wonderful for days is to take all of those peelings and cores and throw them in a saucepan with a couple cinnamon sticks (and cloves if you like), cover with water and simmer.  The steam will permeate through your house and leave it smelling cinnamony applicious.

apple dumpling potpourri

You can even cover it and leave it on the stove for a couple days, removing the lid and simmering for a few hours a day just to bring that wonderful Fall aroma back.

I have a funny story from back in the good ole’ Pampered Chef Days.  I had a young lady who was new to the business that I had been training, and I shared this tip with her.  Holly still lived at home with her parents.  One Saturday morning, after practicing some recipes to demonstrate with her apple/peeler/corer/slicer, Holly decided to make some of this Fall potpourri.  She had it simmering on the stove while she went upstairs to take a shower.  When she came down, her Mom had a perplexed, comical look on her face.

“Holly Honey,” she said. “I don’t recommend you make this recipe at your cooking demonstrations.  It just really doesn’t taste that good.”

apple dumpling dough

For my dumplings, I just use my standard pie crust.  Remember the trick to flaky pie crust is to not overwork it.  (You can check out my secrets to successful pie crust here.)

apple dumpling prep

No special dimensions on cutting the dough – just make sure it is large enough to cover the apple completely.

And if it doesn’t, you can always use scraps of dough to patch and “glue” with water.  No perfection needed in my kitchen!

apple dumpling pre oven

Bake them for 30 minutes without the sauce.

apple dumpling sauce

And then for 30 additional minutes with the sauce.

apple dumpling post oven

If you don’t (want to) eat them all at once, Apple Dumplings freeze well.  It is nice to freeze them individually with a little sauce for a sweet treat when you want it most.

apple dumpling single top

Marty was a pretty happy camper when he saw what I was baking.

And I kinda thought he deserved it after publicly professing he thinks I’m cuuuuuuute!  🙂

The old bugger is losing his eyesight a bit…  Isn’t it nice how that happens as you age and grow old together?!

Cheers & Hugs,


Classic Apple Dumplings

Pie Crust Pastry:
2 c. flour
2/3 c. shortening
Dash of Salt
3/4 c. water
5-6 med-large firm apples (Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith)
1 can Mountain Dew or Lemon Juice
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp.  cinnamon
1 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
2 c. water
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out pie dough, and cut into 5-6 uniform squares.
Peel and core apples, but leave them whole.
Pour the Mountain Dew or lemon juice over peeled, cored apples in bowl to keep from browning while assembling.
In another bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon.Place apple in center of square pastry.   Sprinkle all over with cinnamon sugar mixture.Fill each apple cavity with approx. 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1 tsp. butter.Pull the pastry squares up over the apples and twist on top.  Seal well, using water if necessary as “glue.”Place in an greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan or stone.Bake for 30 min.While apple dumplings are baking for first half of time, combine sauce ingredients in saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil and continue boiling for 1 minute.After the dumplings have baked for 30 minutes, pour the sauce over top and bake 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally.Serve hot with cream or vanilla or cinnamon ice cream or cold – however you like best!