Sometimes I wonder who first looked at a piece of citrus fruit and thought, “hmm, I’m going to scrape off the outer layer of that skin and bake with it.” Regardless, it was a great idea.
Proper zesting of oranges, lemons, and limes can best be achieved by using a microplane grater, like this one. When zesting, wash your fruit, dry it with a paper towel, and stick to the colored outer layer of your rind, leaving the white pith alone. I usually zest my fruit first, then slice it and juice it; you can always reserve the juice for another time.
This recipe is adapted from Boys Ahoy.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of one large orange
10 2/3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (reserve 1/3 cup for rolling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon orange zest and mix together very well.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and remaining orange zest until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add egg, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon orange juice and beat until combined.
Add flour mixture in two batches, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon orange juice and beat until fully combined.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop generous portions of dough and roll into balls. Dip in sugar/zest mixture, coating well.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart and flatten with the bottom of a glass to about 1/2 inch thickness.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, until edges are set but centers are still just slightly puffy.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.