This year I was able to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This was organized five years ago by Love & Olive Oil as a way to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Bloggers sign up to participate and pledge a small amount of money (this year it was $4.00) to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer organization. Then we are paired with three other bloggers to whom we will send a dozen cookies. The cookie swap also had brand partners that sent all the participants cool things. The company OXO (which I love, because all their kitchen gadgets are top-notch) sent this really great “beaker” measuring cup set. Each beaker fits inside the one just larger. Don’t you love the rainbow colors? You can pick up a set from Amazon by clicking on this link: OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Nesting Measuring Beaker Set, Multicolored
Dixie Crystals sent a non-stick cooking sheet, which makes baking so much easier! Cookies just slide right off, and they hold together right out of the oven better, too, even when they are hot. I LOVE to use silicone baking mats when making cookies! Check out these Silpat Perfect Cookie Baking Sheets. They even have cookie outlines so you can see where to put your cookies! The outlines are placed a little differently than you would commonly see, but they are spaced perfectly so that your cookies don’t bump into one another.
The recipe I chose is one of my favorite Christmas recipes, Chocolate Orange Cookies. I love the flavors of chocolate and orange together as evidenced by my Orange Spice Caramel Corn and Chocolate Orange Ice Cream. They received rave reviews from my father-in-law, who said they tasted just like those chocolate orange sticks his mother used to buy at Christmas time. My mom used to buy those, too! I also think they taste like those chocolate oranges wrapped in the shiny orange foil.
The recipe just calls for orange peel to get the lovely citrus flavor, but I added some Wild Orange Essential oil to amp up the flavor. (This is completely optional, but it makes the cookies awesome!) You make the cookies sparkly by rolling the dough in a mixture of more orange peel and sugar. Sometimes when I am feeling lazy, I don’t do this. But they are much prettier when you do! I have also found that when I bake these cookies on stoneware, they seem to come out more “crinkly.” They don’t taste any different–they just look different.
You can either make small cookies, or large ones. I used a small cookie scoop to make mine (so I could make lots of them!) I suggest that the balls be anywhere from an inch to an inch-and-a-half in diameter. Here is a picture of them on my pizza stone. I have lightly tapped them with the bottom of a glass (because the recipe says to) so the tops are a little flat. I have a couple Pampered Chef pans, but you can buy this Wilton Perfect Ceramic Pizza Stone for much cheaper. I like to use pizza stones rather than baking pans with sides, because the pizza stones are so much easier to clean.
When they come out of the oven, you can see the pretty sugar and orange peel.
I gave these cookies to all my neighbors this year. They are such a fun, different Christmas treat! You’re going to love them. I guarantee.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 Tbps. grated orange peel
- 3 drops doTERRA Wild Orange essential oil, optional (if you use another brand of essential oil, make sure it is approved for internal use). In place of essential oil, you can also use 1 tsp. orange extract.
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. grated orange peel
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix one cup of sugar with the butter, 1 Tbsp. orange peel (and essential oil, if using) and egg together.
- Stir in flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Stir in chocolate chips and pecans (if using).
- Roll into 1-1 1/2 inch balls.
- Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. orange peel together in a separate bowl. Roll dough balls in mixture and place about three inches apart on a baking sheet. Flatten partially with the bottom of a glass. (These do spread a lot, so be sure to leave enough room!)
- Bake 9-11 minutes until the edges are just starting to crisp, but the centers are still a little soft. (If using stoneware, add another 2-3 minutes, especially for the first batch).
- Let cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.