The combination of chocolate and orange is one of my favorites. I love to add a bit of orange zest to chocolate mousse or chocolate truffles, to dip candied orange peel in melted chocolate, and more.
When I made the following cookies, I’ve decided to do the opposite: this time the orange is the main flavor and the chocolate is the addition. While baking, the cookies will fill your kitchen with a wonderful orange, chocolate and cardamom powder aroma. When done, they will delight anyone who enjoys orange cookies with just a touch of chocolate.
The cookies are perfect for serving with coffee or tea, and make a nice gift when invited over for dinner. They also freeze well, so don’t hesitate to make the whole batch.
Makes: 44-46 cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Baking time: 12-14 minutes
2 Tbs freshly grated orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp pure orange extract, or orange liquor
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
½ cup candied orange peel, cut into small cubes
1. Wash and dry the orange. Grate the zest and measure 2 Tbs. Squeeze the juice and measure ¼ cup.
2. In a mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar and egg. Cream together with the mixing hook for 2-3 minutes. Clean the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add the orange zest and juice, the cardamom and the orange extract. Mix briefly on low speed. (The mixture will now seem “broken”, but it’s fine.)
3. Clean the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed, until a soft dough is formed. Add the chocolate chips and mix briefly. Cover the dough with wax paper and place in the fridge for an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper.
5. Shape the dough into 44-46 balls about 1 inch (2 cm). Place them on the cookie sheets, about 1 inch (2cm) apart. Press 3-5 cubes of candied orange peel into the top of each cookie.
6. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, changing the sheets position in the oven halfway through.
(When done, the cookies will be still pale at the top, so use a spatula to lift one and see if it is golden-brown at the bottom, to determine if they are ready.)
7. Let cool on a rack before serving or storing. The cookies can be frozen, in an airtight container, for up to 2 months.