Chocolate Orange Christmas Cookies!

Chocolate and orange are as festive a combination to me as chocolate and peppermint (though those two combinations should probably never get anywhere near each other. Ever.)

Every year in the toe of my stocking I find one of those bright foil-covered chocolate oranges that you bang on the table to break apart (but are still easier to eat than actual oranges) as an homage to Christmases past where the Laura Ingalls Wilders of the world received actual oranges and pennies and maybe some wool socks yet were eternally grateful.

DSC_0311I wanted to try incorporating this signature flavor into a new Christmas cookie, and most importantly, I wanted it to be simple. The end result was  a winner on all counts – rich and chocolatey but fresh and zingy and ready within a few minutes (seriously). The cleanup is even faster as the recipe only uses one bowl! I’ve made these at least a dozen times now and the entire batch always disappears within an evening. If you plan on leaving these out for Santa, stand guard.

You will need:

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 egg
1 orange or 2 clementines
chocolate and white chocolate chips (to taste)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F / 177 degrees C.

Beat the butter and sugars together in a bowl. Add the salt, egg, vanilla, and almond extract.

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Grate your orange or clementine zest into the mixture. This adds both the coveted orange flavor and a dose of moisture to the batter before adding the dry ingredients.

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Add the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Beat until combined. The batter will be thick but don’t over beat!

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Add your extras. We’ve made this recipe with just semi-sweet chocolate chips or just white before (and, in a crunch, without chocolate chips altogether) but our favorite way is to just go the whole hog and use both (because YOLO  it’s delicious).

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After folding the chocolate chips into the batter, portion little scoops onto a cookie sheet and flatten with your palms. Bake these beauties for about 11 minutes and then let cool. Share with friends and blow their minds; share with Santa and get off the naughty list (they are that good).

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Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and please let us know if you give these a try! We hope/know you will enjoy 😉

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