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Desserts

Cranberry orange pockets

Cranberry orange pockets
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Beyond the colorful decorations and after the initial rush of sugar, holiday cookies are about memories and tradition. Be they humble or ornate, our baked goods are used to celebrate and give thanks -- thanks for our childhoods, the blessings ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling and at least 2 hours chilling time for the dough | Makes 2 dozen cookies

Cookie dough

  • 2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.

Step 2In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and vanilla extract. On low speed, gradually stir in the flour mix just until blended.

Step 3Gather the dough together and divide into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a flat square and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Filling

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Step 1In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar and orange zest until well-blended. Stir in the dried cranberries, then the melted butter.

Cranberry orange pockets

  • Cookie dough
  • Filling
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2On a lightly floured surface, roll one square out to a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 24 (2-inch) squares. Carefully transfer the squares to the prepared cookie sheets, placing them 1 to 2 inches apart. Roll and cut the second square of dough into squares. Set aside.

Step 3Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each square on the cookie sheets. Top with the remaining squares, and press the edges together with the tines of a fork to seal.

Step 4Bake until the edges are lightly golden, 12 to 16 minutes. Immediately slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes, then slide off the parchment paper and cool completely.

Step 5Prepare the icing: In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the orange juice, zest and vanilla extract, stirring until the icing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle from a spoon. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies.

Note: Adapted from Linda Amendt.

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