Chocolate Orange Rounds

embossedchocolateMy dear friend Carrie gave me a lovely embossed rolling pin for my birthday this year. It has a folk art-type pattern of flowers, and I’ve been looking forward to using it for months now. As I’m on vacation this week, I’m baking up a storm, and decided to go with a chocolate orange roll-out cookie to test my embossed rolling skills.

While the cookies look absolutely delicious, they are too bitter for me. I used a King Arthur Baking recipe went with dark cocoa for my cocoa powder, but next time I’ll use regular unsweetened cocoa for a lighter chocolate taste. Mike proclaimed them as delicious and remarked that they’d be good with a pint of Guinness. Perhaps I’ll pick some up for him while running errands today.


  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 1/2 a large orange
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar. Add salt, vanilla extract, and orange zest and beat until fluffy. Add flour and cocoa powder and beat on low to combine, or stir in with a spoon. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a regular rolling pin, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using your embossed rolling pin, roll the dough again to imprint the pattern. Using a round cutter, cut out circles and place on the parchment-lined sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 1-2 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Makes about two dozen cookies.


Chocolate Orange Cookies

chocolateorangecookiesSometimes 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 egg
  • 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.