Oranges & Chocolate. Chocolate & Oranges.
This flavor combination has been on my mind ever since my friend's seven year old son asked me if liked Chocolate Orange Juice. At first it sounded unappealing, but then we got into a discussion about the best way to prepare this concoction to optimize flavor and lessen gross out factor. Orange juice with a swirl of chocolate syrup seemed the best way to go. I can think of a couple of adult drinks in this flavor combination as well. Orange creamsicle martini with a chocolate rimmed glass? Mmmm.
I digress. If you remembered the cookie picture at the top of the post you'll realize that I have but if you are dreaming up the recipe for those Orange Creamsicle Martinis please send me the recipe! Ahem! Anyways. This Honeybell Orange Marmalade by Davidson of Dundee was brought to me from my friend in Florida who also gave me the datil pepper sauce I used in the Crunchy Tacos. It's sunshine in a jar. Amazing.
I made a sugar cookie dough that is a little different than my go-to top-secret sugar cookie recipe. This one has a bit of yogurt in it that gives the dough the tiniest tang which compliments the sweetness of the filling nicely. I like Stoneyfield Whole Milk French Vanilla Yogurt. It's flavorful and not as sour or artificial tasting as the low-fat or horror of horrors!--fat free-- yogurts are. This is the only yogurt I purchase--both for eating with Crunchy Granola OR for baking. It has a few extra calories and costs a few pennies more but it's worth it. Try it.
Be prepared for a lot of cookies. I got 42 filled cookies (2 inch diameter) but I think with less sampling of the dough by me and the children there would have been nearly 4 dozen.
The centers are made of melted Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate. I prefer Ghiradelli chocolate in a lot of my baking, especially for topping or drizzling because it has such a divinely smooth texture and is easy to work with. But, I think another chocolate would do nicely as well. It's more important to use a chocolate that you love.
I realize a professional food stylist would have neatly sliced this cookie open before taking a picture. I took a huge bite. What of it? I couldn't resist.
Honeybell Flower Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, separated--reserve egg white for later
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups of flour
Honeybell Orange Marmalade (or preferred brand)
Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate, 2-3 ounces (or preferred brand)
Additional sugar for decorating, if desired
1. Cream the butter, sugar, salt, egg yolk and vanilla together. Beat in the yogurt thoroughly. Stir in the flour. The dough will be quite soft; wrap in plastic and refrigerate 3-4 hours or until firm. You can also chill the dough overnight.
2. When the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 350. Working with half of the dough at a time, roll it out to about 1/8 of an inch. Cut desired shape but make sure to cut an equal number of cookies.
3. Place 1/2 to 1 tsp of orange marmalade in the center of half of the cookies. Whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the mixture on the cookies without the marmalade and then carefully cover each cookie with marmalade with one of the cookies you brushed with egg white. Be sure to put the egg white facing down--it's the 'glue' that helps hold the cookies together. Press the edges together very lightly. If desired, sprinkle sugar over the cookies.
4. Place cookies on parchment lined (or lightly greased) cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Take a toothpick or the tip of a knife and poke a small hole in the center of each cookie. Bake for 16-18 minutes OR until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
5. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Using the tip of the spoon, drop chocolate into the center of the cookies. Alternatively, drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. When the chocolate has cooled and set, store in a cookie jar.