May is National Bike Month, and the current weather in Davis is ideal for biking to class, work or simply for fun. Riding a bicycle is a great way to exercise and burn calories; refuel before or after a long ride by snacking on one of these Sun-Kissed Orange Cranberry Cookies.
Dried cranberries play a critical role in this cookie recipe. Cranberries have enormous health benefits, yet cranberry juice is commonly conceived as being overly tart. The sweet orange flavor here balances the dried cranberries, which are alleged to prevent prostate cancer, urinary tract infections, gum disease and more. With so many health perks, it’s a smart idea to include cranberries when and where you can in your diet — yes, even in a cookie. As one final perk, trading cranberries for the standard chocolate chips means these cookies won’t melt during any biking adventures. (Check out a bike map of Davis to encourage such adventures.)
As expected, this recipe gets a dose of citrus as well as flavor from its oranges. The citrus is a significant source of vitamin C and promotes a healthy immune system. Oranges also protect against heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and kidney stones. In other words, the oranges, cranberries and almonds in these cookies all provide a plentiful source of energy that is very necessary for an activity like bicycling.
Bike Month is being celebrated all across the nation, and that is especially true in Davis. Indeed, biking is celebrated almost every month here, one of the most bicycle-friendly cities. Not surprisingly, this town features the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame between the UC campus and the Farmer’s Market on 3rd Street, and there are allegedly more bikes than people in Davis.
And why not? Biking is good for your heart, cheap on the budget and easier on the body than many other sports or activities like running. So, in homage to Bike Month, hop on your bike or visit a local bicycle shop — just don’t forget to bring a few Sun-Kissed Orange Cranberry Cookies for yourself and your fellow bikers.
- 1/4 cup sugar (plus extra for sprinkling over cookies)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 large navel orange, zested and juiced (approximately 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed juice)
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the softened butter with the white and brown sugars in a large bowl. Beat the egg in the bowl with an electric mixer set on low. Next, add the orange juice, zest and extract, and stir to combine with a spatula.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add the flour mixture to the large bowl, and mix until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and slivered almonds, being careful not to overmix.
Scoop approximately two tablespoons of the batter, loosely roll into a ball, and place onto a greased baking sheet. (Slightly flatten batter with your fingers if necessary, but these cookies are designed to be thick and chewy.) Continue until you have run out of batter, which makes about 18 cookies. Sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 12 minutes.