Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I am thankful for so much this Thanksgiving--for the sunny weather, for my great kids and husband, for prosperity during these difficult times...but mostly that I'm not cooking dinner this year! Which of course means no house to clean, no turkey to brine, no potatoes to peel, no bread to bake. I cannot tell you how happy I am about this, especially in light of the fact that I've already cooked a big Thanksgiving dinner...in September. (If you need any recipe ideas check here.) So I'm feeling kind of over it, at least the cooking part...the eating part, well, that's another matter altogether.
Perhaps, like me, you are ready to move ahead and start thinking of other things...Don't tell anyone, but I've secretly been lining up my Christmas boxes and adding to our decoration collection for some weeks now. I've even been caught listening to (one of) my favorite Christmas albums, and in our house, listening to carols before Thanksgiving is over is strictly prohibited!
But, what can I say, I'm in the mood, and luckily my submission to Disney this week was for a Christmas cookie. It's difficult to come up with interesting flavors that haven't been done before. Everyone has their favorite butter cookie recipe, chocolate chip recipe, and recipe for kiss topped peanut butter cookies. I wanted something flashy, yet traditional...kind of like me. (I joke! I'm just flashy...again, kidding). Since citrus is in season now, a cookie with those bright flavors seemed to fit the bill, but it needed a little something more....I settled on CHOCOLATE.
I've never been one to enjoy an orangette (except for the blogger), but I have to admit that subtle orange flavors marry exquisitely well with chocolate, especially the dark variety. I tested out two recipes...the first ended up thick and chewy, and the second was crisp and buttery. I sent the thick and chewy ones off to Disney and will share the thin and crisp cookie recipe with you here. That way, as soon as they post my recipe on their site, you can taste both for yourself to see which you prefer. (By the way, they were both good...I just thought the thicker cookies were more photogenic.) At any rate, you should include these in your cookie repertoire for a little something different this year. Dunked into a cup of rich, hot chocolate, they're enough to send anyone right over the moon....
Crisp Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick), room temperature
1/4 cup shortening, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 extra large egg
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the butter and the shortening with the sugar until smooth. Add the egg, milk, vanilla, and zest and whisk to combine. Mix the flour with the cream of tartar, baking powder and salt and stir into the butter mixture using a wooden spoon. Add the chocolate chunks and mix well.
Place 1/4 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and roll in sugar, then place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press the cookies flat using the bottom of a drinking glass and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until very light golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.