Small pleasures in life should be shared

It seems a lot of the things I find pleasure in involve food. Whether it is cooking or consuming, there is something wonderful about food.

But I believe food is not for enjoying alone – it’s best as a sit-down meal or sharing a favorite recipe with family or friends.

I love cranberries, but where I live the only time we have fresh cranberries is from Thanksgiving to Christmastime, so I make all kinds of cranberry craziness during that time.

The rest of the year I use dried cranberries or cranberry juice to get that tart-sweet flavor.

Tonight I made cranberry-orange cookies with dried cranberries, adapted from a recipe from allrecipe.com.

Here is my version:

Cranberry-Orange Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 egg

zest & juice of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.

Mix together sugars and shortening. Stir in egg, orange juice, orange extract and orange zest.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Sift dry ingredients into bowl with orange mixture. Stir together until mixed well. Add cranberries.

Drop by heaping teaspoonsful onto cookie sheet(s). Bake for 9 to 12 minutes – until done. Let cool completely.

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