Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baking: Chocolate-Orange Sugar Cookies

For over a year  I have been tinkering with a recipe for chocolate orange sugar cookies, inspired by the amazing chocolate tangerine cookies from Dancing Deer Bakery.  I did some research on the web and came across a list of the ingredients, but no actual recipe.  I've tried a few different sugar cookie recipes, tinkering with the proportions of flour and cocoa powder.  I've tried adding orange zest and melted chocolate.  Nothing has been quite right.

Last winter, I found this recipe, based on this recipe from a NH inn:

* 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 large egg whites
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
* Pinch of salt

In an electric mixer, combine brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla, and mix on medium-high speed until well combined. Add egg whites, and mix until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, and salt. Add to sugar and butter mixture, and mix on medium until flour is completely incorporated. Turn this mixture out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper, and roll into a 3/4 by 8-1/2 inch log. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove paper, and slice log crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small bowl, and dip each piece of dough in sugar, coating all sides; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, placing cookies 1 inch apart. Bake about 14 minutes for chewy cookies; for crisp cookies, bake 2 to 3 minutes longer. Slide the paper and cookies onto a wire rack to cool.


The cookies I made with this recipe were definitely tasty, but, to be very honest, they were pretty ugly.  I took a few pics at the time, but there is no way I am posting them here.

After the success of the piparkakut that I baked for the holidays, I thought it might be fun to take the flavors of the chewy Dancing Deer cookies that I love and add the crunch of a cookie rolled incredibly thin.

So, I souped up a basic sugar cookie recipe, froze the dough, rolled it very, very, very thin and used my very cool skull&crossbones cookie cutter.  I'm really pleased with the way they turned out, though perhaps next time I will make them a little fatter and see If I can get a texture a little closer to those that inspired this project in the first place.

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