Coconut Orange Refrigerator Cookies

This time of year, I always keep the makings for different kinds of cookies in the cupboard. Mainly because I never know when I’m going to be snowbound–or in the case of our recent weather, house bound, because it’s so cold! While I love a lazy day at home, around 3 p.m. I start getting stir crazy. One year I was stuck inside for two days during a massive blizzard and made a different batch each day. Forty-eight hours later when the plow man arrived with a backhoe to “plow” the driveway, I was able to give him a bag of homemade cookies!

These cookies are an old family recipe and I love making them in the winter because I always have a fresh orange in the fridge (although you can always use dried orange rind, too). Yes, I use shortening, but you can substitute butter, which would make then even more like a flavored shortbread. Also, you can substitute a teaspoon of lemon juice instead of extract which is what I always do. They’re especially sweet, so you can always have a cup with your morning tea and coffee and call them a biscuit!

Coconut Orange Cookies
The original recipe says to bake at 400 degrees with 8-10 minutes. Maybe it’s my oven, but that always leaves me with hard, burned cookies. I baked this latest batch at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes, watching them carefully. I pulled them out a bit early when they were underdone, but once they cooled, they were perfect. They freeze well, too.

1 cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 tsp. lemon extract (or juice)
2 Tbs. orange rind
2 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1/2-3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut

1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugars, shortening, lemon extract or juice, orange rind, and eggs.

2. In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut.

3. Gently add the flour to the wet mixture, using a hand mixer, until it is well mixed together.

4. Chill the cookie mixture in the fridge. (For at least a half an hour or until you’re ready to bake.) Roll out and cut into cookies or roll into balls. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.