Petites galettes à l'orange

I moved in with Jean-Baptiste in January. I also started working as a full-time translator at the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre. Between unpacking, painting, going to choir practice, taking singing lessons, cooking for two, planning meals, and trudging around in the snow, I found it hard to write here. Impossible, actually, as my absence proves!

Moving really knocked the snot out of me. The temperature on the day of the move was -25 C, and I was super sick. There was also a serious mold problem in my apartment, hence why I had to move, and why things were tense between me and my landlords.

Even though I moved into JB's apartment, there was a lot of work to do. The kitchen sure didn't look like it does now. We're more settled now: I'm working part-time, with a few contracts on the side, and it's summer. Our apartment is starting to feel like home, and life has slowed down to a much more reasonable pace. I like being busy, and I like having things to do, but all the transitions and new beginnings made me so tired. Life's like that. Those times are crazy. You have to hang on tight and enjoy (or try to) the ride.

Last weekend, JB's mom, Pascale, came over to make some Galettes à l'orange, or orange cookies. French is a funny language: these cookies are called galettes, but the word for cookies is really biscuits. There are also other words for cookies, such as des gâteaux (a word we associate with cake) or des cookies (clearly an English word!).

Galettes à l'orange

Yields 20-30 cookies, about.

from JB's mom

These cookies are not too sweet and perfect for munching on with green tea or iced coffee or whatever else you can think of, morning, noon, and night.

Pascale has a little trick: use one measuring cup and one bowl and you'll have less dishes. She tributes this to 40 years of cooking! (She started when she was around 10, I think). We used a small water glass that equals 1 cup.

The next time I make these, I'm going to add orange zest. Maybe 2 tsp. That would really boost the orange flavour.

1 C fresh squeezed orange juice (or regular orange juice)
1 C white sugar
2 tsp baking powder

1 C oil
2 egg yolks

1 - Mix the orange juice and sugar together. Add the baking powder and let it react with the acid in the orange juice for 3-5 minutes.
2- Add the oil and two egg yolks. Mix well.
3- This is the tricky part and where experienced cooks will do better than inexperienced ones: add flour until the dough is the consistency of a very smooth pie dough, but this dough will be wetter than pie dough. When you touch it, it should feel smooth and plump, like the baking powder is doing it's job well.
4- To make rolling out the dough easier, refrigerate your dough for an hour or two. We rolled the dough out right away, but it was a bit sticky.
5- When your dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350 F.
6- Roll out the dough. Pierce the rolled out dough all over with a fork to help the dough relax and puff as it's baking (this is easier to do when the dough is in one big sheet).
7- Use your favourite cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Pascale brought over her comma-shaped cutter that was her husband's mothers. I, unfortunately, have no cookie cutters to my name.
8- Mix up another egg and milk and brush the cookies with it.
9- Cook until golden brown. (10-15 minutes depending on your oven).

NOTE: The best baking sheets are two-ply. Your cookies will cook too fast in most ovens on a "cookie sheet" with sides. If this is all you have, keep a close eye on your cookies and rotate the sheets throughout the cooking.

REMEMBER: Cookies continue to cook once you take them out of the oven. It's usually best to take them out of the oven just before you think they're done.