I have always loved chocolate orange as a flavour combination, and also making things that look a bit different, and a bit 'special' I suppose! I like to get that wow factor when you present a bakery project, and I love these cookies because they get just that response, and yet they are so incredibly easy! This recipe makes about 20 cookies, give or take
You Will Need:
225g Unsalted butter
185g Icing sugar
300g Plain Flour
~10 drops good quality orange flavouring
2tsp baking powder
generous pinch of salt
2 large oranges
150g plain chocolate
75g granulated sugar
If you have an electric mixer then fantastic, if not then a wooden spoon or whisk will do the job, my mixer is currently misbehaving so I did it manually and it was just as good.
Step 1: Making the Cookie Dough
Firstly make sure your butter is softened to room temperature, it makes the cookie come together smoother, and much easier to mix. Put into a bowl and sift the icing sugar into it. Mix well until light and fluffy. In a seperate bowl whisk your egg and flavouring together. I use a concentrated essence that only needs a few drops, and it tasts so true to that seville orange flavour that I think it is worth using. Go by the instructions on the bottle, a normal supermarket essence will probably need 2 tsp depending on your tastes. Add the whisked egg to the butter sugar mix and combine well. Then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture. Do this in about three lots to get a smooth consistency. By the time the last lot of flour is fully mixed in the dough should have come together to form a soft springy ball that is no longer sticky. Don't be afraid to work it with your hands to make it come together smoothly.
Once the dough is done, leave it in the bowl at room temperature while you prepare the oranges. The dough becomes more workable after a rest.
Step 2: Making the Sugared Orange Slices
The orange slices that go on top of the cookies are sugared and softened to make them more delicate and palatable on top of the cookies.
Take your two oranges and wash them. You will need a very sharp knife to get nice thin slices.
Slice your oranges crosswise as thinkly as you can manage. Next take the granulated sugar and dissolve it in about 350ml of water in a medium skillet pan. When it comes to the boil add your slices in and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. You will know when they're ready because the white pith goes translucent and the outer skin is very soft. Take them out and put them on some folded kitchen roll to absorb the excess water. You're slices are ready!
Step 3: Cookie Monster
Turn your oven on to 180 celsius to heat up. Go back to your dough and roll it out on a clean surface. I like to put my board on a damp teatowel to stop it sliding around. Using flour for dusting as needed, roll your dough to just over 1/4 inch thick, your cookies will rise a little to about 1/2 inch in the oven. When your dough is rolled place your orange slices onto the rolled dough. You can have them whole for large cookies or halved for more appropriate dunking size, whatever you feel like, I did a mixture of both. When the slices are laid out on the dough put a piece of clingfilm over the top and give them one or two rolls over with your rolling pin to embed the slices a little into the cookie. Try to press fairly lightly so as not to go all the way through the dough.
The you are ready for cutting. You can use conventional cookie cutters if you have them, if not a pint glass or drinking glasses will do the job.
Lay your cookies on a gread baking tray and pop them in the oven for 8 minutes at 180 C.
NOTE: Please watch your cookies to make sure they dont burn, they should still be a nice light colour when they come out, the final consistency is a crisp edged, squidgy inside delicious cookie!
Step 4: Chocolate!!
For the finishing touch, i like to use plain chocolate as a coating for these cookies. You can either dip or create lines, or whatever takes your fancy!
Firstly melt the chocolate in a scrupulously clean bowl (grease makes the melted chocolate grainy) either in a bowl over a pan of water or if your very careful by 20 second bursts in the microwave stirring in between each go.
Then if your dipping then just dip away! For piping you can use a real piping bag or just a new clean sandwich/freezer bag and cut off the very tiniest bit of the corner and it works just as well and no messy cleaning of a bag afterwards! Pipe lines across the whole tray of biscuits to save time. Once the chocolate has set, viola! Impressive biscuits that were a doddle
Step 5: DONE!
Beautiful delicious Cookies!