Orange Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are the bomb.

The perfect combination of buttery shortbread cookie, sweet tart orange marmalade topping, and dark chocolate. Cookie perfection!

This is another recipe courtesy of my friend Wes and the Minneaspolis Star Tribune Cookie Contest. Once again, these cookies weren’t even the grand prize winner of the contest which has me seriously wondering if the other cookies were just that incredible or if the judges were completely crazy.

These rock. AND, they’re pretty easy to make.

Here’s what you need:

Flour, Sugar, Egg, 2½ sticks of Butter, Orange Zest, Orange Marmalade, and Dark Chocolate Chips.

Click here for an Orange Chocolate Cookies Shopping List

Set 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter out to soften at room temperature. When the butter is soft, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In the bowl of a large mixer, beat 2 sticks of softened butter with 1 cup of sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy.

Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Separate 1 egg and add the yolk only to the bowl.

Using a microplane or other fine grater, grate the outer zest off of one orange. The original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of zest but I just used the entire orange rather than measuring.

Mix the egg yolk and the orange zest into the butter and sugar. Smells great!

With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add 2 cups of flour to the bowl. Mix only until the flour is incorporated. Do not be tempted to over mix.

Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Chilling will help this dough be much more user friendly when you are rolling it out.

Generously flour your work surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. This dough is quite soft so don’t be afraid to add flour to the top, bottom and the rolling pin to prevent sticking.

You want the rolled dough to be a little on the thick side because it has to stand up to being a base for the marmalade.

Use a small round cookie or biscuit cutter 1½-2 inches in diameter to cut rounds out of the dough. If you don’t have a round cutter, take a look around your kitchen to see what else might work. My friend Colleen used the top of her martini shaker. Genius idea! A small tin can like tomato paste comes in would also work. If you still can’t find anything round, you could also cut these by hand into triangles.

Transfer the dough rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet. Gather up and re-roll the scraps, cutting out circles and re-rolling until you’ve used all the dough. Baking on the parchment is a MUST as these cookies can quickly burn and stick.

Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the sheets. Use your thumb to make a small indentation into the top of each round.

Fill the little dent with 1/4 teaspoon of orange marmalade.

Bake the cookies at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Don’t walk too far away from these cookies. Mine took 11 minutes. 10 was too little and 12 was quite suddenly too brown. Check on them at about 9-10 minutes and grab them out of the oven just when the edges start to turn golden brown.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

These cookies are very good as is but they are about to get a whole lot better!

In a medium sized bowl, melt 3/4 cup (about 6 oz) of bittersweet chocolate chips and 2-4 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Using the microwave takes about 2 minutes total but you want to stop the microwave every 20 seconds and stir the chocolate.

After about 40 seconds, about half of the chips are melted. Stir and re-nuke them stirring again after every 20 second cycle.

You might need to add more butter to get really glossy, dip-able chocolate. I used 4 Tablespoons or 1/2 stick of butter total.

Once the chocolate has melted, dip half of the cookie in the chocolate

and then place them on waxed paper to set up. If your kitchen is warm (or if you live in Florida), you might need to place the dipped cookies in the refrigerator (on waxed paper lined trays) to get them to set up completely.

Making new recipes is always a lot of fun. Finding one that blows you away is a tremendous bonus.

No need to save these beauties just for Christmas either. These orange chocolate cookies would make me happy 365 days of the year!

Here’s the recipe:  Adapted from the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Orange Chocolate Cookies

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