Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies

Recently I invited our new neighbors, John and Amy, to join my small cadre of baked goods tasters. As it turns our they have several orange trees (not that that had any influence on my asking them to join the group) and they offered me as many oranges as I liked. That is the very good news.

Here is the other side of the coin. QC’s Mah Jongg group (who I made the key lime tarts in the previous post for) cancelled Tuesday’s game, so I gave away most of the tarts I made for them. Then, they changed their minds and decided to play (with 6 tartlets and some of one of the 6” pies left.)

Then, they decided they would try to gather enough players for another game on Wednesday. As it turns out, for some reason, I had some extra oranges in my possession and no plans other than juicing, so… chocolate orange shortbread cookies for Wednesday’ game, and more samples for my tasting cadre.

I like to melt the chocolate in the microwave using short bursts (first is 1 minute, each other 30 seconds) while stirring between each burst. The white chocolate wasn’t tempered, nor was it quite fluid enough to pipe nicely. I made a second batch and it was much better.

I used my bench knife to act as an end block, lined up six cookies and spread dark chocolate over them all. While the dark chocolate was still liquid I piped the white in thin (occasionally straight) lines and ran a tooth pick across the top of the cookie to make the feathering.

The orange flavor comes through, but isn’t too strong. Next time, I may add some essence as the chocolate nearly overpowers the orange.

Orange Shortbread Cookies

INGREDIENTS
• 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
• 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
• Zest from 2 large oranges
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 6 ounces finely chopped, dark or semisweet chocolate, your choice

METHOD

  1. Combine the sugar and zest, blending with a fork until thoroughly mixed and fragrant.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar/zest mixture until they are just combined. Add the vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter and sugar/zest mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted
    with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  5. Roll the dough ¼ inch thick and cut to 3 by 1-inch with a pizza cutter. Place the cookies on an parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (rotate pans after 10 minutes), until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

TEMPERING DARK CHOCOLATE.
Weigh 1% of the mycryo butter so it’s ready to add.
To calculate:
• 100g/3.5oz chocolate + 1/2 teaspoon (1g) mycryo cocoa butter
• 200g/7oz chocolate + 1 teaspoon (2g) mycryo cocoa butter
• 1kg/35.27oz chocolate + 5 tsp (10g) mycryo cocoa butter.

METHOD

Melt the chocolate on a bain-marie (or use a microwave, melting in 30 second bursts, stirring well between each burst and checking the temperature, reducing to 3 or 5 second bursts when almost ready).

Make sure the chocolate reaches a temperature of 122º F (a few degrees higher is OK). Take it off the bain-marie as soon as it gets near and give it a good stir then if necessary return 5 seconds or so at a time, stir and check the temperature.

Once off the heat (and off the bain-marie) let the chocolate cool to 94ºF. Sprinkle on the mycryo cocoa butter and wait a few seconds as it melts then stir in to combine. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the chocolate off the sides and fold into the middle. Stir well and continue to stir well
fairly frequently. Keep the tempered chocolate in the sous vide, or Bain-marie at 90 F.

1 thought on “Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies

  1. I’m John, the aforementioned new neighbor of Dave’s. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised the other day when Dave knocked at our front door, offering us a tray of his freshly baked key lime tarts. They were delicious! And today, he was back, this time with chocolate orange shortbread cookies. Again, delicious! (And even a little more special since Dave had used oranges from our tree.) We’re very fortunate to have a next door neighbor who is an excellent baker and who shares the fruit of his labors.

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