Happy New Year! May 2016 bring all of you with more blessings, good times, and yummy, yummy food. I went a little out of the box in my usual methods in ringing in the New Year and reserved a table at one of my favorite bars, Julep. How does this have anything to do with these cookies, you ask? Well, other than the drinks and the food, I wanted to bake a little something for my friends. I came across a few recipes for Italian Butter Cookies awhile back. I tried and tweaked a few recipes before coming up with this one. I have to say, it really does remind me of those butter cookies in the infamous blue tin I used to always have as a kid. The combination of orange and chocolate is tried and true, and I always love to use it in any cake or cookie I make. There is just something about biting into something so buttery and decadent, while still getting the zesty, citrus aroma of orange. It cuts the richness but still complements it at the same time. To add a bit more holiday flair, why not add some pecans and cranberries? Sprinkling toasted coconut on top of the chocolate covered cookies is also very delicious. This is a very versatile cookie , so feel free to play around with the recipe!
Chocolate Dipped Orange Scented Butter Cookies
Makes about 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on how large they are piped out.
- 2-3 cookie sheet pans
- Parchment paper or silicone liners
- Piping bag
- Large star tip
- Mixer/Stand Mixer
- 1 cup of butter, softened (Leave it out for about 1 hour)
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of vanilla
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- Course vanilla sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 of dark chocolate, 60-70% cacao.
- Zest of one orange
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, cream the salt, sugars and butter together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add vanilla, orange zest, and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined. While the mixer is on low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Scoop the cookie dough into a piping bag fitted with the large star tip and pipe out 1 1/2 inch swirls, or whatever shape you like. Make sure that each cookie is about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet (they will spread in the oven!). Sprinkle the vanilla sugar over each piped cookie for added texture and crunch. Bake cookies for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges/ridges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a microwave save bowl, leaving 1/4 cup aside for tempering. Heat the chocolate in small, 30 second bursts, stirring after each interval until all the chocolate has melted. Pour in the reserved 1/4 of chocolate and stir until that chocolate has melted.
Dip your cooled cookies into the melted chocolate so that 1/4-1/2 of the cookie is en robed in decadent silky chocolate. Set the cookies onto the baking tray and leave in the refrigerator to set, about 15-30 minutes.
Enjoy your cookies with tea or coffee, or on their own. These make great gifts as well!