Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Update

One of these days, when Benjamin goes out of town, I am going to spend the entire time sitting on the couch reading a book or watching TV. Not this past weekend. Nope, nope, I was too darn busy. On Saturday, I played tennis (twice), had a hair cut, did the weekly grocery shopping, walked the dog, did dishes. Sunday, I did three loads of laundry, went to church, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, baked bread, made soup, made yogurt, walked the dog, washed dishes (at least twice, thanks to all the baking), and eventually picked Benjamin up from the airport. And in doing all these things drove at least 200 miles - half the things I did were in Conway, which is 15 miles to the north, and the tennis was 20 miles to the south.

Oh, and I baked these cookies. So good. Go make them. Now. Here is the recipe from Simply Recipes (if you follow the link, you can get a handy printable version, which is very handy).

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes 
Cook time: 40 minutes

I like Hershey's Special Dark for this recipe as it gives baked goods a dark, nearly black color and a rich cocoa flavor. However, Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa or any other brand will do just fine and give more prominence to the orange flavor.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (*Hope's note - yes, Kosher salt for baking. It give the cookies a great bit of saltiness that keeps them from being too rich or sweet.)
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of orange zest


1 Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2 Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. (Do not skip this step as cocoa powder has a tendency to clump. You want the dry ingredients sifted to ensure a tender cookie.) Set aside.
3 Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a mixer for 5 minutes, being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix for 30 seconds. Add about half the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Scrape down the bottom and sides and add the rest of the flour mixture. Once incorporated mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.
4 Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on it. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness with a rolling pin. (You can also lightly flour a work space, but I find my method far easier, cleaner, and the shortbread keeps a sandy texture by not picking up the extra flour.) You may find the dough getting too soft. If it does, place it in the freezer for ten minutes to firm it up before you continue rolling or cutting. (The dough is very hard to work with when soft.) Cut into desired shapes and place on the baking sheets about 1-inch apart.
5 Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. It can be difficult to tell when these cookies are done, so when they smell like freshly baked cookies and the edges are slightly firm but still give a bit then consider them done (simply enough, it takes some judgment on your part). Remove the pans and allow the cookies to cool for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

1 comment:

Candace said...

Oh, thank you. I liked the sound of these :)