Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chocolate Orange Cookies

Today my Mammy made marmalade (I wish I called her Mammy!) and I made culinary magic! I'm generally a bit snobbish about chocolate and orange together - Rose's orange creams and Terry's chocolate oranges don't really do it for me - so I forget sometimes what a great combination it can be. Luckily today I remembered. The marmalade needed about 9 hours of boiling so the entire house smelt delicious, as the oranges jam-ify they smell so rich and creamy... I had been planning to make chocolate cookies and I wanted to put orange in anything and then it clicked. BOOM. Chocolate orange cookies. And what a great idea it was!


The basic cookie recipe I used was from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking which I got for Christmas. Baked is a bakery in Red Hook, New York and both the bakery and the cookbook were recommended by David Lebovitz and it is a beautiful book. I hadn't got round to baking anything since I was given it because I have been doing essay prep in my pjs and being fed by my lovely Mammy and generally being supercool. I decided to ease myself in with something super easy, hence the cookies. I assumed that there was a universal cookie recipe (I have two good cookbooks that have identical - very good - recipes, seriously exactly the same) but I thought I would follow this one to the letter just in case. Turns out the mixture has a very different consistency - it is much more solid and it nearly broke my electric whisk (well, sorry, some of us don't have KitchenAids) and took a lot of arm work to stir in the chocolate chips. I actually ended up needing to add some milk to be able to mix the flour in. Probably because of all the flour the cookies themselves are puffier and cakier than the ones I'm used to. My Madre says this is the American cookie style, anyone know if this is true?

Also, because it is an American cookbook, the recipes are all in 'American'. Yup, cups, sticks, Fahrenheit... It took a certain amount of translation but I was helped by my beautiful new cup measurements. Another Christmas present. I did mention that I had a baking themed Christmas! No offence to anyone but American measurements are bizarre. Cups don't make anything easier and how was I supposed to know that 1 stick of butter is 4oz or 1/2 a pat?? Where is the logic in that? And how are you supposed to measure butter in cups? It is a solid! Anyway...

Ingredients: (I had to halve the quantities suggested because it would have made millions!)
  • 1 and a bit cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick or 4oz or 125g or 1/2 a pat of butter. The book says 'soft but cool'. I don't think my butter was soft enough hence the difficulty beating it with the sugar. Make sure it is very soft!
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • ~250g/8oz roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 large, drained ladlefuls of half-cooked marmalade! Quite specific I know but I'd worry that fully cooked marmalade might be slightly too bitter and not orange-y enough. I also think that fresh oranges wouldn't be orange-y enough either as well as possibly being too wet?
Recipe:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190oC.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in one bowl.
  3. Beat the sugar and butter together in another bowl until pale and golden.
  4. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and stir in.
  5. Add half of the flour and mix in. VIGOROUSLY. Add the other half. More mixing.
  6. Fold in the orange chunks. I used a strainer spoon to fish to large spoons of orange chunks out of the boiling jam mixture and plonked them straight in the cookie mixture. I possibly should have waited a bit because quite a bit of the chocolate melted instantly but I think it kind of worked to fully infuse the cookies with chocolate-orange flavour. The entire cookie tasted of chocolate orange, not just the chunks of chocolate or orange.

7. Refrigerate until slightly firmed up (if you can be bothered).
8. Line a baking tray with greaseproof and dollop on the mixture. You want to keep the dollops relatively small and well spaced. An inch is a good start but in my experience the further the better.Bake for 10-14 mins until golden.


9. Eat delicious hot cookies. Get thoroughly overexcited at how good they are. Forcefeed them to everyone around you!


SO GOOD! So pleased with these.

Chuck x

3 comments:

  1. Oh nom, saved this post...going to make some for work!

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  2. I'm not usually a fruit and chocolate kind of girl, but holy mmmm....those look effing delicious!
    Thanks for the comments :)

    ♥ Olivia

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