My family enjoys delivering cookies to our neighbors in the days leading up to Christmas. Since we live on an acreage, we don't often see our neighbors unless we intentionally visit them. The holidays are a good time to make those visits a priority, and we like to bring cookies along.
Looking for a change from my usual Christmas cookies, I created this recipe for Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies. These cookies are mildly sweet, beautiful, and tasty. The subtle orange flavor plays nicely off the chocolate flavor. These cookies are made with Einkorn flour, which is an ancient variety of wheat that is naturally higher in protein and lower in gluten than modern wheat. The nutrient-content of these shortbread cookies is increased through the use of nutrient-dense butter and sucanat.
Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
1 cup nutrient-dense butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sucanat
1/4 cup organic sugar
2&1/4 cups Einkorn flour
1/2 tsp fine-ground celtic sea salt
zest from 2 tangerines or 1 orange
1/3 cup chocolate chips, preferably soy-free
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together the butter, sucanat, and sugar using a mixer or stand-mixer, until a bit fluffy and slightly lighter in color. (I love to use my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer anytime I am making cookies.)
Mix in the vanilla extract. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to get everything incorporated well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
Zest the tangerines (or orange). A microplane zester works fantastically to zest any citrus.
Whisk the zest into the flour mixture, making sure to break up any clumps.
Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well-mixed. Since this recipe contains gluten, make sure not to overmix the cookie batter.
Scoop the cookies onto greased cookie sheets (or line the cookie sheets with silpats, which are wonderful since the cookies never stick and are less likely to burn). I like to use a 1-Tb scoop for consistently pretty cookies, but you could just use a spoon.
Flatten the cookies a bit with your fingers.
Bake for ~15-20 minutes, until the edges are a nice golden-brown color. If you are baking more than one cookie sheet at a time, you may need to swap the position of the cookie sheets for the last ~5 minutes to achieve even cooking of both sheets.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Melt the chocolate chips in a small pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. Don't rush this process, as you don't want to burn the chocolate.
Once the chocolate is melted, use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. I found that a relatively rapid back-and-forth motion of my hand worked well to make the chocolate drizzles look pretty.
Allow the chocolate to fully cool to room temperature and harden.
Serve and enjoy!
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