Did you know that January is one of the best times to buy oranges? Yes, oranges are in season in January and they are so good right now! Sometimes in the middle of winter it can get gloomy, even here in Mammoth where’s it’s usually blue skies and sunny. It’s been warming up this week, which is nice because I’ve been able to get back outside for runs. However, even though it was warm, the sun wasn’t shining this morning. On the days where it’s still kinda gray outside, I love to indulge in something sweet that reminds me of sunnier days. And oranges have been one of my go to snacks lately.
And, with Valentine’s Day on my mind I’ve been thinking about chocolate things. Combine that with excessive oranges purchasing and eating and I made a Milk Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookie. These shortbreads are so crisp and buttery, and have a subtle sweet orange flavor thanks to the use of Organic Orange Flavor from Frontier Co-Op. They even have a little bit of tangy flavor with that extra addition of fresh orange zest.
These cookies would be a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day baking. And you can make them all throughout orange season which can last through March. So, look for some plump and juicy oranges next time you’re at the market and pick them up so you’re ready to bake these shortbreads.
Milk Chocolate Orange Shortbreads
2 sticks (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
142 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon organic orange flavor (like Frontier Co-Op)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract (my favorite is Simply Organic)
255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour
zest of 1 large organic orange
10 ounces (2 cups) organic milk chocolate, finely chopped
Method Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, organic flavor and vanilla extract. Mix on low just until you don’t see powdered sugar anymore, you will still see a few chunks of butter and that’s okay because it’s very soft.
Add the flour and orange zest and mix on low until combined into a smooth dough. It should feel like play dough in your hands.
Using your hands, form 36 cookie dough balls and place on parchment paper. Flatten slightly so they are about 1-3/4 inches in diameter.
Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Let cool completely on cookie sheets.
In a double boiler, add 80% of the milk chocolate. Melt completely until the temperature reaches 110°F on a chocolate thermometer. Remove from heat and immediately add the remaining milk chocolate and stir to combine completely. Let sit until the temperature has reached 89°F on a chocolate thermometer. The chocolate should be tempered now and ready to dip.
Dip the bottoms of each cookie into the milk chocolate and place chocolate side down back on the parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Place the cookie sheets in the fridge to set for about 1 hour.
Store in a cool dry place for up to 7 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the all purpose flour with 227 grams (1 1/2 scant cups) Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend plus 57 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic coconut flour.
High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until golden brown around edges.