Orange Shortbread

orange shortbreadOrange and chocolate is one of my all-time flavor combinations, ranking up there with chocolate and peppermint, chocolate and peanut butter, and lemon and raspberry. The orange Milano cookie is among my favorite commercially-produced cookies, and I’m surprised to say that these cookies taste very much like an orange Milano.

This is the first time I’ve used cane sugar in a recipe, rather than as a topping on my baked goods. I wasn’t so sure about it, given that it sounded like broken glass in my mixing bowl, but it turned out quite well.

If you don’t like orange and chocolate together, you can certainly leave these plain, but I believe the chocolate, particularly semi-sweet, gives these cookies a great dimension of flavor that you won’t achieve otherwise.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, combine butter and cane sugar; mix on medium speed until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Add salt, orange zest, and orange extract and beat until well-combined, about 2 minutes.

Add flour about 1/4 cup at a time, beating until a soft dough forms. Press dough into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula. Prick with a fork to make designs, if desired.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is just golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 10 minutes; gently lift out parchment and place on a heatproof cutting board. Cut into squares and place on a wire rack to cool completely before dipping.

In a small saucepan, slowly melt chocolate chips and shortening, stirring frequently until smooth. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate and place on parchment or waxed paper to harden; store in an airtight container.

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