So I researched traditions of foods eaten on New Year's eve that bring luck for the new year. Most cultures have food served on New Year's Day, but I was looking for New Year's eve. I wanted inspiration for my cookies this week and thought this was a great starting point.
Rum Raisin With Orange Filled Cookies
I came across the Spanish tradition of 12 Grapes, where you eat one grape at each stroke at midnight on December 31st. This tradition that started in Spain has spread to other cultures as well. For example, Portugal has adapted raisins instead of grapes mainly because they are easier to eat.
The Philippines have a tradition of eating round fruit on New Year's Eve. Oranges are one of the fruits in the round fruit group. I am starting to see a cookie beginning to evolve.
Ingredients for Raisin Filling and Cookie Dough
Rum Raisin Filling
- 1 pound Raisins
- 1 Orange
- ¾ cup Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons Corn starch
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Rum Extract
- 1 cup Butter unsalted
- 6 ounces Cream cheese
- 2-½ cups All-purpose flour
Instructions for Rum Raisin with Orange Cookies
I make the rum raisin filling and the cookie dough the day before; the flavors seem to infuse into the raisins, and the cookie dough seems easier to work with as far as rolling out the dough.
Making the Raisin Filling
The first thing is to zest and juice an orange. When zesting, you only want to go over the same spot no more than two times. The next layer down is called the white pith. While you can get a slight bitterness from the top layer of the orange or any citrus, the white part of the fruit contains most of the bitterness.
Juice the orange and add it to a measuring cup; you want to add water to the juice to have one cup combined of juice and water. You will not lose flavor if your orange does not produce much juice. I got ¼ cup of orange juice and added ¾ cup water to get the 1 cup total.
Add the water/orange juice combo, orange zest, sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, and stir in a saucepan. Once combined, add the raisins and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a full boil and reduce the liquid to a syrup consistency. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the rum extract.
The flavor seems to enhance if you make it the day before and store it in the refrigerator overnight. I do take out the raisin filling and stir it once in a while. It will thicken and help keep it from running out of the cookie when assembling.
Making the Cookie Dough
Cream the butter and cream cheese together until blended. Gradually add the flour and mix for a minute. Take the mixture out of the mixer bowl and onto a pastry mat or counter. Don't worry if some of the flour has not come together; knead it and form a ball. Once the dough has come together, flatten the ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Assembling the Cookies
I cut the flattened disk of cookie dough that came out of the refrigerator into quarters to make it more manageable. Roll out one of the quarters to 1/16-inch and cut as many circles as possible using a 4" round cookie or biscuit cutter. If you use a smaller cookie cutter, you will have to adjust the amount of filling you add.
Putting the cut-out dough circle on a parchment-lined sheet pan, add about a teaspoon of the raisin mixture onto half of the dough circle. Sealing the edges is where the fork-stirred egg white comes into play. Brush the egg white around the edge and fold the dough over the raisin filling.
Finger press the edges to seal the cookie. I take a fork and go around the edges to ensure the cookie will not open during baking. Make a small hole in the top for steam to escape. I only assembled six cookies on a cookie sheet to give myself room to work.
Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes. You want them to brown slightly on the edges and the bottom. Move them to a cooling rack once out of the oven. I added a little powdered sugar to the tops after they had cooled.
These cookies do not need to be refrigerated or sealed in a tight container. Instead, keep them in a loose-fitting lid for 5 to 7 days. My batches are usually gone by the fourth day.
Here Are Few Other Cookies
Rum Raisin with Orange Filled CookiesBarbara Hall
Rum Raisin Filling
- 1 pound (453.59 g) Raisins
- ¾ cup (150 g) Sugar white
- 1 (1 ) Orange (zest and juice)
- 1 cup (236 g) Water (juice from the orange + water)
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons (2 Tablespoons) Corn starch
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Rum Extract
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted 2 sticks room temperature
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) Cream cheese room temperature
- 2-½ cups (125 g) All-purpose flour
Rum Raisin Filling
- Zest and juice one orange. Take the juice and add it to a measuring cup. Add enough water with the orange juice to equal 1 cup and add that to a saucepan.
- Add the sugar to the water/juice and stir to get the sugar wet. Next, add the orange zest, cinnamon, corn starch, raisins, and stir to combine. Turn your stove to a medium-high setting and stir off and on until the liquid comes to a boil. Next, turn the heat down to a medium setting and stir until the liquid thickens. You should be able to pull a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan, and the liquid does not rush to fill in the bottom.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the rum extract. Let the raisin mixture cool for 10 minutes, then move it to a container with a sealed lid and move the raisin mixture to the refrigerator. I make this the day before to allow the raisins to absorb the rum and orange flavors.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together for about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Place the cookie dough on a pastry mat or hard counter and knead the cookie dough to ensure all the flour is mixed into the dough. Flatten to a round disk shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Put into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I mixed my cookie dough the day before and left it in the fridge overnight.
Assemble the Cookies
- Take the disk out of the fridge, and I cut it into quarters to make it manageable. Next, roll out one of the quarters to 1/16" on a lightly floured pastry mat or flat surface. Then, using a 4" round cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as possible. I got six and added them to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- I used a teaspoon to add the raisin filling to only half of the cookie dough circle. Next, brush on the slightly beaten egg white around the edge and fold the other half of the circle over the filling. Now, press with your fingers around the rim to seal. Next, I take the fork's prongs and go around the edge to ensure no filling can spill out. Finally, poke a small hole in the top to let steam escape.
- Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes. You want the edges and bottoms to start to turn a light brown. Move them to a cooling rack. After they cool, you can sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar. Happy New Year!