Monday, September 27, 2010

Dark and bitter orange chocolate cookies

Dark and bitter orange chocolate cookies / Cookies de chocolate amargo e casca de laranja em calda

I’m not a chocoholic but love chocolate and orange together.
I know the thought of making the candied orange strips might make some of you discard this recipe, but let me tell you: these cookies are absolutely worth the “trouble”. :D

From U.E.’s blog – and I already have another recipe of his on my "to try" list. :D

Dark and bitter orange chocolate cookies

Candied orange peel:
3 oranges, preferably organic
2 cups (400g) caster sugar
2 cups (480ml) water

224g (8oz) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all-purpose flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (57g) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (224g) caster sugar
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk
½ batch candied orange peel, chopped (recipe follows)

Start by making the candied orange peel: remove the rind from the oranges by slicing off the two polar ends (stem and blossom ends). Score the fruit in wide strips from one polar end to the other, cutting through the rind and the white pith, but stopping just shy of the flesh of the fruit. Peel the rind and reserve the fruit for other use.
Put the rind in a small sauce pan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain the rind and return them to the sauce pan. Repeat the boiling process twice more. Set the rind aside to cool. If there is an inordinate amount of fleshy, white pith, gently scrape it away with a spoon. Slice the wide strips into thin strips – about the thickness of a chopstick.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the water and sugar. Place this over medium heat and bring it to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange rind strips and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook the rind over a simmer until the strips of rind become translucent. The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the rind. This will generally not occur until the sugar syrup has sufficiently thickened. However, if the syrup has become too thick, add a little bit of water. If the white of the pith is still opaque, keep cooking. At no time should the temperature of the sugar syrup exceed 110°C/230°F (use a candying thermometer to check the temperature from time to time).
Once the rind is sufficiently candied, remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into a heatproof container. Let cool completely. Store the zest in the cooking syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. When you are ready to use the rind, drain them from the syrup and let them dry on a baking rack for no less than 6 hours, but no more than 12 hours. In addition to using them in cakes, cookies, and ice creams, they can be dipped in chocolate.

Now, the cookies: preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Pour water to a depth of about 5cm (2in) into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Put the chocolate into a stainless-steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of the pan and place it over, not touching, the water. Make sure that the bowl is completely dry before you add the chocolate and that no moisture gets into the chocolate. Moisture will cause the chocolate to seize, or develop lumps. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar and mix until the mixture is completely smooth and soft. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until incorporated before adding the next egg. Beat in the salt and vanilla, and then add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Add the milk and chopped candied orange peel and beat until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2.5cm (1in) apart. Bake the cookies until they are just barely firm on top when lightly touched by are still very soft underneath, about 7 minutes - mine needed 10 minutes. They will get firmer as they cool. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.

Makes 36 – I halved the cookie recipe and made 1/3 of the candied orange peel for it (got 26 cookies)


Katie said...

These look divine and I love the idea of making your own candied orange. I don't like orange flavoured chocolate but love fresh orange added to chocolate so these sound right up my street :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Chocolate and orange go great together in my opinion. These look fantastic!

Satya said...

cookies looks simply awesome ...


Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful cookies

Priya Suresh said...

Scrumptious cookies..

The Urban Baker said...

Patricia, I am with you on the chocolate + orange combo. There is almost nothing better. I LUV candied orange peels. Problem is, I end up eating the whole batch prior to using them as a garnish! These look scrumptious!

pam said...

Chocolate and orange are one of my favorite combinations!

Abby said...

A good excuse to try making orangettes! It started clipping Christmas cookie recipes last night. It's coming......

Yours Truly said...

oh my goodnesss....chomp*chomp*chomp!

love the richness!

Patty said...

I LOVE homemade candied orange zest - and what a great idea to add it to a chocolate cookie - yum! I have 2 orange trees on the property I'm living on right now so I think I'll be candying some peel once the oranges are ready.

Thanks for sharing Patricia :)

Lisa said...

I love the combination of chocolate and orange. Your cookies look delicious.

Bakericious said...

looks fantastic, I am sure taste good too.

tiina { sparkling ink } said...

Orange and chocolate - a simply perfect combo. The cookies looks perfect, Patricia. Like straight out of a magazine! Hope your week has started wonderfully! xx

Taz said...

oh boy, everything about these sounds good! Yum!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Katie, thank you! The candied orange strips go so well in a number of recipes... I'm sure you'll like them!

Xiaolu, thank you, sweetie!

Satya, thank you!

Torview..., thank you!

Priya, thank you!

Susan, my darling, I almost did that - I love eating them, too! :D

Pam, mine too, sweetie!

Abby, yay! I have been thinking of a special Xmas recipe series since April (call me crazy). :D

Tamanna, thank you! The dark chocolate adds a very nice touch here.

Patty, that is wonderful! Orange trees in the back yard? One of my dreams! :D
Thank YOU, sweetie!

Lisa, thank you!

Jess, thank you! They did! :D

Tiina, thank you, sweetie! You are far too kind.

Taranii, I'm sure you would love these!

Anonymous said...

Well, speaking of "to try" lists, this is now on mine. I'm not a fan of orange, not at all actually, but I want to make these just because I can imagine the smell...

Anonymous said...

orange + chocolate = great ... i concur. these look delightful; maybe something to try for Christmas!



Jennifer said...

I really love chocolate and orange too! Great cookies!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Sugarfirst, tks for stopping by! I hope you like these!

Heather, they are Christmassy, indeed! Thank you!

Jen, thank you! I love them together, too! :D

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