Chocolate Orange Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
3-oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 whole Egg
1 tsp. Orange Peel, grated (the "Zest")
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Orange Extract
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
3-oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips and Pecans, if desired
1/4 cup Pecans, finely chopped, or Granulated Sugar (optional)



Pre-heat oven to 350-F degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream together vegetable shortening, cream cheese, and both sugars. Blend with an electric mixer until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, orange zest, and both extracts, then blend well.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients, about half at a time, to the creamed mixture. Blend well to thoroughly combine all ingredients.

Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if desired. Drop by the teaspoonful about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, lightly sprinkle cookies with finely ground pecans or granulated sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes on the center rack of the oven.

Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.




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