These Chocolate Orange Cookies are a classic Christmas cookie that you will want to make long after the holiday season has ended! Rich, fudgy cookies with bright orange flavor are rolled in sugar and orange peel for a flavor combination you can’t beat! Perfect for cookie exchanges or to give to friends and family!
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. I also think they taste like those chocolate oranges wrapped in the shiny orange foil.
Ingredients for Chocolate Orange Cookies
- Granulated sugar
- Butter (I use salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter as well–just add a little more salt to the dough)
- Grated orange peel
- Orange extract (or orange essential oil)
- Cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Chopped pecans (optional)
How to Make Chocolate Orange Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat your butter and sugar together with the paddle attachment until light and creamy.
Add your orange zest and egg and beat until fully incorporated.
Then add all your dry ingredients at once–the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low speed just until all the flour disappears.
Stir in the chocolate chips (and chopped pecans, if using).
Use a small or medium-sized cookie scoop to scoop the dough.
If desired, you can gently roll each ball of dough between your hands to smooth them out. (You can also roll them in a mixture of sugar and orange peel in a small bowl. Read the “tips” section below for more info, and get all the details in the recipe card).
Bake on silicone mat-lined or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. You can also bake these cookies on stoneware if you wish, but you’ll need to add a few extra minutes in the oven if you use stoneware.
After 9-11 minutes, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. (I guarantee they won’t last that long, though!)
Tips for Making Chocolate Orange Cookies
1. 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!)
2. You make the cookies sparkly by rolling the cookie dough balls 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!
3. I have 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.
4. 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 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.
When they come out of the oven, you can see the pretty sugar and orange peel.
Common Questions about Chocolate Orange Cookies
1.Do I need to chill the dough?
You do not need to chill this dough before baking. If you don’t have time to bake them right away and need to wait for a bit, you can certainly place the dough in the refrigerator, making sure to cover it with plastic wrap.
When ready to bake, allow the chilled dough to sit out at room temperature for about a half an hour. Otherwise, it’s REALLY difficult to scoop!
You’ll also want to press down on the tops of the balls before baking. Otherwise, they won’t spread very well in the oven.
2. Should I use fresh orange zest, or can I used dried orange zest?
For best results, use fresh orange zest. If you use dried orange zest, cut the amount in half.
3. Can I use dark chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips?
Of course! I think white chocolate chips would also taste fantastic!
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
- 1 teaspoon orange extract, or 3 drops doTERRA Wild Orange essential oil.
- 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, orange extract (or orange essential oil) 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.
If you use essential oil rather than orange extract, make sure it is approved for internal use.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 4.6gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 12.4gFiber: .5gSugar: 8gProtein: 1.1g