Monday, December 20, 2010

Orange scented chocolate bites

When I was picking up some chocolate bars for the peppermint pixies, I noticed Lindt offered an orange flavoured dark chocolate bar and I figured it would be perfect to make another chocolate bite a little more festive.

These dark chocolate bites are as easy to make as it is to pop them in your mouth. The addition of orange zest, orange oil and orange peel studded chocolate bars makes these already decadent treats just a little more special and festive. Permeated with a marvelous citrus aroma, they bring back memories of the orange groves in Andalusia intoxicated with the heady scent of orange blossoms. Because the ingredients are few and simple, it's advisable to use the best quality ingredients available.
This particular cookie has certainly been around the baking universe and it would be no stranger to those familiar with Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermé. I believe it was my sister who introduced me to them many years ago. Since then, it has been an annual staple and a favourtie for our family. This recipe is actually not Greenspan's but rather Hermé's which I happened upon in an article from F&W site. It differs ever so slightly but the small difference I believe in the amount of sugar and flour makes Herme's dough a little less crumbly and easier to work with. I've made both and couldn't tell the difference. I only chose to work with Hermé's recipe over Greenspan's as it is much easier to handle.

Chocolate chocolate chip cookie
adapted from F&W article
The New Classic Cookies I Pierre Hermé's Christmas Cookies

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 sticks plus 6 tablespoons (11 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 teaspoon orange oil
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (2 cups) for more orange intensity with orange peel - use Lindt's Orange chocolate bar.
Zest of 2 oranges

In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, fleur de sel, orange oil and orange zest and beat until combined. Beat in the sifted dry ingredients just until blended; the dough will be fairly crumbly but will hold together. Knead in the chocolate until evenly distributed. Divide the dough in half and transfer to 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Shape each piece of dough into a 1 1/2-inch-wide log and wrap in the plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp, thin knife, cut the logs into 3/8-inch slices and arrange about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. If the slices crumble, re-form the cookies, pressing the dough together. Bake the cookies on the middle and lower racks of the oven for about 17 minutes, or until puffed and cracked on top; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.


Peggy December 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM  

These cookies look fantastic! The perfect chocolate cookie, indeed!

Sze Lin December 23, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

Yes indeed! it's hard to resist snacking on them as they come out of the oven.

Drink More Tea December 28, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

I just made these! Delicious! Thanks for the recipe

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