What's Baking: Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
It's that time of year again! Today I am featuring the cookies I baked for the 2015 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This event, which is in its fifth year, brings together food bloggers from around the world with one mission -- to swap delicious cookies. This year, the swap again partnered with Cookies for Kids' Cancer to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Additional partners included Dixie Crystals, OXO, and Land O'Lakes.
Each participant was matched with the names and addresses of three other food bloggers. Our instructions were to send each of our matches a dozen cookies; in return we'd receive a dozen cookies from three different bloggers too. I received tasty sugar cookies from Ashley of Couture Palate, yummy gingerbread shortbread cookies from Faye of Live Bake Love, and delicious peanut chocolate chip cookies from Karla of Forty Cakes.
My three batches of cookies went to Jenn of Not Starving Yet, Shana of Shana Was Here, and Tracy from Pale Yellow. Like last year, I again had a hard time deciding what cookies to bake for this year's swap. I initially planned to make chocolate-dipped walnut butter cookies (which I posted about last year), but I was worried that they wouldn't ship well. (Spoiler alert, they ended up shipping just fine.)
So, at the last minute (which required a late-night trip to buy more butter at the store, whoops), I decided to make orange chocolate chip cookies instead. And then ... my final cookie count was four less than the total of 36 I needed to send. So each of my recipients ended up with nine orange chocolate chip cookies and three of the chocolate-dipped walnut butter cookies.
This recipe uses orange extract, which gives the cookies a super-orangey flavor. You can sub in orange juice, but the end product won't be quite as citrusy. And don't skimp on the fresh orange zest! In addition to its lovely flavor, the zest also provides a little orange-flecked goodness to the appearance of the cookie.
Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies (printer-friendly version)
makes about 3 dozen
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter (1 stick softened, 1 stick browned)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
2. Add one stick of butter to a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat. Continue heating as the butter melts, foams, then turns clear and golden. Gently swirl the pot on the burner as the butter continues to cook. When brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pot and a nutty aroma arises, remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the brown butter into a bowl (being sure to scrape all the brown bits out of the pot). Let cool for 10 minutes before using.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the softened stick of butter and sugars. Stir in the vanilla and orange extract. Briskly stir in the brown butter until completely incorporated. Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring between additions. Then stir in the orange zest.
4. In three batches, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Then stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 48 hours. (If you chill the dough for more than 30 minutes, let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before scooping and baking.)
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop the dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon portions onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 9-12 minutes, or until barely set and light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.