This weekend was a busy one for sports loving folks, including my family. In our house, the Super Bowl is nearly as big as Thanksgiving and the holiday season, with menu planning, lots of snacks to nibble on during the game and a meal afterwards. That means spending hours in the kitchen making our favorite recipes for the people I love!
I had a number of foods to make including today’s Chocolate Monday treats. I got these cookies finished first because I knew I would have to photograph them as I made them and when they were finished. The Artist has learned to ask which if any of the Chocolate Monday sweets he can eat, knowing that I have to take photos before he can have anything – or risk the chance of getting his hand slapped as he reaches for one, LOL.
The inspiration for today’s cookies was a recipe from Julia Moskin and posted in the New York Times. Their recipes are well tested and generally very easy to convert to gluten-free. I really appreciate the work she puts into her articles and the recipes she shares. If you haven’t heard of her, be sure to check her out!
One easy dough, 3 options. This is my kind of recipe! The original cookies are orange scented shortbread-style cookies, a little sandy and loaded with luscious butter (use Kerrygold!) – pure heaven. When drizzled with an orange icing, each bite is packed with a huge punch of fresh orange sweetness.
For Chocolate Monday I added some finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Orange and chocolate are perfect partners, each making the other taste better. To balance the chocolate, I added a few drops of orange oil (my favorite brand is Boyajian). I wanted the orange flavor to come through without needing to add the orange icing. Using eye dropper lids makes these oil easy to add by the drop! These are beautiful cookies and sturdy enough to pack in lunch boxes, take as a gift to friends’ houses, or just to enjoy at home. To make them even more indulgent and ideal for special occasions, I melted some chocolate and drizzled it over the tops. Have Mercy! I could easily have eaten the whole tray of these beauties!
I love the look of the zig-zag drizzle and it couldn’t be easier to do. Pour the melted and slightly cooled chocolate into a resealable plastic bag, press it into one corner, twist the top closed tightly to keep the chocolate in the corner, and flip the bag upright (this keeps the chocolate from dripping out until you are ready to decorate). Snip a tiny piece of the corner off and quickly drizzle it over the cookies. Just be sure to have a sheet of parchment underneath to catch all the drips!
I normally have a few bricks of chocolate on hand, but this time I decided to use another favorite of mine, Guittard Couverture Chocolate Wafers. The are designed for easy melting and don’t contain stabilizers. When you make chocolate chip cookies, have you noticed they soften but hold their shape when baking? That’s because of the stabilizers that have been added which can leave a waxy sensation in your mouth. The couverture waters are perfect for melting as is or, in this case, finely chopping to give you bits of chocolate in every bite. For more information on the different types of chocolate and when to use each one, check out this great article from Bon Appetit.
If you have a few oranges on hand, these cookies come together quickly and easily. You could make the dough in advance – just roll it into a log and wrap with parchment paper. Write the baking temperature and time on the parchment, then wrap the log tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze the dough for up to 3 months and you can have homemade, delicious slice-and-bake cookies anytime you want!!
You are getting this a little later than usual today because I pooped out last night before I finished editing the photos and writing the post. I hope you don’t mind, but boy did I need to sleep after all the food we had and a long day on my feet!
For my California friends with citrus trees in their yards, keep this recipe handy. You are going to want to make batch after batch of these lovelies! 🙂 Have a wonderful week my friends. Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that one of my favorite kitchen tools is an ice cream scoop. A #24 spring loaded scoop (also called a Disher) holds about 3-1/2 tbsp of dough or batter, making generous cookies that spread to nearly 3-1/2 inches wide or filling a regular muffin tin 2/3 full. They make very quick work of portioning dough, meatballs, cupcake batter, etc.
Use 120 grams of a gluten-free flour blend for each cup of regular flour called for in recipes. This will give you nearly perfect results every time, with very little additional adjustments required. With cookies, no xanthan gum is needed, but add 1/4 tsp for each cup if you are making cakes, muffins, or breads to help keep your baked goods from being crumbly.
- 1-3/4 cups (210g) unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1-2/3 cups (200g) cake flour … or to make your own cake flour, whisk together 1 cup + 6 tbsp (165g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend + 4 tbsp (32g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/4 cups (240g) granulated sugar
- 2 packed teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (from the zested orange)
- 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 10 drops orange oil, optional
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 227g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and slightly softened
- About 1/4 cup (42g) shaved or finely chopped bittersweet, semisweet or milk chocolate
- Chocolate Drizzle
- 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate, melted
- Position one rack in the top third of the oven, one rack in the bottom third of the oven, and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare the Cookie Dough: In a bowl, whisk flours, baking soda and salt together. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together the sugar and orange zest, helping the zest from clumping. In a measuring cup with a spout, combine the orange juice, egg, yolks, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour the orange sugar into the softened butter and beat until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl frequently. Gradually add the egg, yolks, and vanilla, beating between each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, mixing between additions just until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. Add the chocolate and mix just until it is distribute throughout the dough.
- Cover the bowl, pressing a sheet of plastic directly onto the surface, and refrigerate about 15 minutes. If you want to make the dough ahead, firm and then place in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container and refrigerate up to a couple of days. Return to room temperature before continuing.
- Scoop 3 to 4 tbsp of dough for each cookie using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop (see Jane's Tips and Hints, above) and place on the line baking sheets, leaving more than 1-inch between cookies. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in water, flatten each cookie to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch. Instead of drizzling with chocolate, cookies can be sprinkled with coarse cane sugar before baking.
- Bake the Cookies: Bake about 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through. Cookies will be fairly pale on top and lightly browned on the bottom. Leave on the baking sheets to firm slightly 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before storing in airtight containers up to 1 week.
- Make the Drizzle (if using): Place cookies on a rack set over a sheet of parchment. Heat the chocolate in a microwave until most of the pieces are melted. Remove from the oven and stir until all the pieces are fully melted and smooth. Cool slightly and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Press into one corner, twisting the top of the bag to keep the chocolate in the corner, flip it upright and snip a little piece off the corner. Keep the bag upright until you are ready to drizzle it over the cookies. Use a zig-zag motion to create a fun design. Set aside to give the chocolate time to firm before serving.
- Yield: about 2 dozen 4-inch cookies
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