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Monday, July 11, 2011

Orange Dreams

One of my favorite flavor combinations is orange and chocolate. There's just something about those two working in tandem that sends me into flights of ecstasy. Of course, there are specialty companies that now make wonderful orange infused chocolate bars that can be incorporated into baked goods.

A few days ago on my favorite discussion area at a fellow baker posted some incredible chocolate chip cookies that were livened up with some orange zest. They sound fabulous and she posted the recipe at her blog, Il Dolce Bacio. I have them down on my list of recipes to try out soon, of course.

But, as I was contemplating them I thought, what about an orange flavored cookie dipped in chocolate? It sounded wonderful. I knew that I wanted a very "pillowy" texture - almost cake like in the interior with a nice firm outside. I also knew that I wanted to rely on real orange flavor instead of resorting to orange extract to hold the flavor line.

So, I got to work in the kitchen. I knew to get the texture I wanted I'd have to use two leavening agents so my cookies would not spread out and flatten after removal from the oven. I also knew that orange zest would play a key role to help maintain the flavor during cooking.

What I hit upon was a wonderful cookie that has a luscious almost cake like interior with a great orange flavor and scent that is very natural with no "artificial" or chemical notes. When dipped in milk chocolate it's a decadent dream!

: Orange Dreams
: Little clouds of orange delight dipped in milk chocolate.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Then add to wet mixture in electric mixer. Add orange juice and mix on slow speed just until dough comes together. Turn off mixer and scrape bowl with spatula making sure to mix thoroughly anything left behind.
  4. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350° or just until edges of cookies begin to brown. Remove from baking sheets to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. In microwave, melt chocolate chips in small bowl or glass measuring cup for one minute. Stir chips and if necessary continue heating in 15 second intervals until all chips are melted and chocolate is smooth. Dip one half of each cookie in the chocolate and place on baking sheet. After all cookies have been dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator for one hour until chocolate is set them remove. (Note: You may have to dip and chill your cookies in batches unless you have a large refrigerator!)

If you really want to boost the orange effect with the chocolate, use one of the orange infused chocolate bars in place of milk chocolate chips.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2 dozen cookies
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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