Citrus in winter is the perfect pick-me-up to take the chill off of those cold days. Pair it with chocolate and those winter days go straight to the top of my happy list. One of my favorite citrus treats are the skinny chocolate and orange jelly sticks, the perfect union of rich chocolate and sweet, tangy oranges.
Since I’m not as adept at candy making as I am at baking, I was inspired by my cravings to turn these sweet favorites into a cookie. Using orange zest really brings out the citrus notes and when paired with a sweet cream cheese filling, the harmony of scrumptious flavors is hard to resist.
Chocolate Orange Cookies
Makes 8 sandwich cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
¾ cup chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Filling (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer or another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg and orange zest and beat until combined.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until fluffy then add the remaining flour. Mix just until incorporated.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball, then place on the baking sheet. Butter the bottom of a drinking glass with and press to flatten the ball slightly. Repeat and place balls on sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a baking sheet.
In a double boiler or a glass bowl fitted over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of water, melt chocolate chips over boiling water, stirring occasionally. Do not let glass bowl touch the boiling water. Remove bowl from the water. Frost the tops of half of the cookies with the chocolate and set aside. Spread the cream cheese filling on the bottoms of the remaining cookies then top with the chocolate frosted cookies to form a sandwich.
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
Blend cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix well.