Citrus fruits season is almost over, and it seems like a good reason to use the still fresh oranges in a new version of my orange-chocolate cookies, which are among my favorites.
Along with a large amount of orange zest, and a bit of orange juice, I also added some chopped sweetened-dried orange slices to the dough, to enhance the orange flavor, and add the unique texture of the candied orange.
Pearl sugar added a crunchy bit, both in the dough and as a topping for the cookies, with the bonus of their snowy white color; while mini dark chocolate chip added their color as well, and bursts of chocolate flavor.
To give the cookies yet another layer of texture and flavor, I replaced some of the white flour with almond flour, and added a few drops of almond extract to the dough.
These tasty, colorful and aromatic cookies, will delight anyone who enjoys “cakey” cookies. They are especially perfect for serving with hot chocolate, or Earl Grey tea, but are also highly enjoyable with cold lemonade or iced tea. Try them and enjoy.
* Pearl sugar is a special sugar that keeps its white color and shape while baking. It can be found in specialty stores or online.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Baking time: 15 minutes
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
1 L egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
A few drops of pure almond extract
Finely grated zest from 1 large orange
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbs fresh orange juice
¼ cup milk, at room temperature
½ cup almond flour
1½ cups white flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chip
1/3 cup pearl sugar (see notes) + for topping
1/3 cup sweetened dried orange slices, roughly chopped
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract and sugar. Add the orange juice and milk, and whisk again. (The mixture will look separated, but it’s fine).
- Switch to a spatula, add the almond flour and mix. Add the white flour, baking powder and salt, and mix again.
- Add the chocolate chip, pearl sugar and chopped dried orange, and mix to incorporate. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour, to let the flavors blend.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line two cookie sheet pans with baking paper.
- Bring the cookie dough to room temperature. Fill a small bowl with pearl sugar.
- Using a small ice-cream scoop, scoop a cookie dough ball into the bowl with pearl sugar, to cover with a bit on one side. Place the cookie ball on the pan, covered side on top. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving space for the cookies to expand a bit.
- Bake for 15 minutes. The cookies will still be on the pale side, so use a spatula to check the bottom side for brownish color.
- Transfer to a rack, to cool to room temperature before serving. The cookies can keep, in an air-tight container, for up to a week, or in a freezing bag in the freezer, for up to two months.