The Nookie Cookies, by sharon

I was sitting around tonight, bored.  I had already made a good dinner (Raspberry Balsamic chicken, thanks Nancy!) but that was earlier.  I’ve been cooking for a few days now (yesterday was Short Ribs braised in red wine, thanks Molly!) and I guess I’m not tired of it.

I decided to hunt around my cabinets and see what was what.  Cookies sounded like a fair idea, but I had no clue what to make.  And then I spied two bars of Ghirardelli, one dark and one semisweet, that weren’t used up when I made chocolate pretzels around Christmas.  Score!  I threw those in the freezer for a while and then chopped them into chunks.

Normally, I would have made chocolate-oatmeal cookies but, alas, I didn’t have much oatmeal left.  And yes, I could have made regular chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted something special for when C comes home tomorrow from Florida.  More kitchen hunting led me to the fresh oranges I bought on Saturday.  Yes, indeed.  I shall make orange chocolate chip cookies!!

Both C and I love orange and chocolate together.  It’s not everyone’s idea of a good time, but in our house it’s a favorite.  Try it out:

Ingredients
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 cups flour
8 ounces of chocolate, chopped roughly or a 10-ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips
zest of 1-2 small oranges, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars.  Add egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.  Using a microplane, zest the oranges into the bowl.   I like to add the orange at this point and let it hang out for a minute or two so the oils really absorb into the rest of the batter.  Add the flour in 1/4 increments, mixing thoroughly each time.  Fold in the chocolate.

Drop by teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes.  I tend to go more toward the 14-minute mark, but I like a crispy cookie.  These come out very nicely scented with just a hint of orange in the dough which is offset by the darker chocolate.

Remove to a rack and cool thouroughly before storing.  I have no clue how long these will keep, because C makes sure they’re gone pretty quickly.

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