It's Saturday and you know what weekends are good for? Saturdays are good for sleeping in. They're good for eating a stack of nice fluffy warm pancakes with chocolate chips, of course, and a healthy drizzle of syrup (cause if it's during the week, we eat the whole wheat variety with very little syrup, haha). Saturdays are also good for long walks, cartoons, playing at the park and taking on a new baking project!
I love to spend my weekends in the kitchen trying new things; things I wouldn't normally attempt during the week with schedules and early mornings and such. It just so happens that these cookies were one of those baking projects I got to play with a few weeks ago. And it was so fun!
Did you know you could make your own candied citrus? It is actually pretty easy and most of the effort that is involved is waiting. Orange is probably my second favorite citrus, with lemon being first. But orange and dark chocolate is a combination I cannot resist!!
These little shortbread cookies are simply to die for and worth every bit of effort that go into them! Although not difficult to make, mostly what you need in making these is TIME! So clear out your Saturday and make some room for this delicious treat.
Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup candied orange peel (chopped), recipe below
zest of 1 orange
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces dark chocolate (chopped)
In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and the sugar. Add vanilla, orange zest and juice and mix to combine. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Add flour and salt and mix until it starts forming larger clumps. Fold in candied orange peel.
Form the dough into a log, wrap it in plastic and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Cut the log into 1/4 inch thick slices and place on a parchment lines baking pan with one inch of space between them. Bake in a preheated 325F oven until they just start to turn lightly golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely (or they will be too fragile to dip!!).
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments on half power. Stirring after each increment.
Dip the cookies into the chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper and let cool until the chocolate sets.
Candied Orange Peel
2 cup water
2 cups sugar, divided
2 cups sugar, divided
Cut the top and bottom from the orange, then cut the peel each orange into 4 vertical pieces and remove from orange in one piece. Cut the peel into thin strips.
Bring a pot of water to boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook the peels in boiling water for 15 minutes, drain and rinse.
Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup of the sugar to a boil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the peel, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peels are tender, about 45 minutes.
Drain and toss the peels in the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Note: You want to drain the orange peels well. If you just throw them straight from the syrup into the sugar, the sugar will clump up.
Place the peels on a cooling rack and let them sit until the coating is dry, anywhere from 24-48 hours.
SOURCE: Closet Cooking