Chocolate + orange = a Christmas treat

Chocolate oranges always make me think of my dad. You know, the big balls of orange-flavored chocolate wrapped in orange foil that appear in stores before Christmas every year. Orange-flavored chocolate may be just about the only kind of chocolate my mom doesn’t absolutely adore, but my much-less-chocoholic dad loves chocolate oranges and he usually got one in his stocking on Christmas morning when we were growing up. These cookies were inspired by chocolate oranges, but unlike the candy, they are vegan and, in my opinion, even more scrumptious!

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Chocolate-wrapped Orange Cookies

Makes 1 ½ – 2 dozen.

Ingredients:

  • ½ c vegan margarine
  • ⅔ c (140 g) granulated sugar
  • orange zest from 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 ⅔ c (235 g) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 c (175 g) vegan chocolate chips
  • ½ Tbsp vegetable shortening

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine the margarine, sugar, and orange zest. Using the stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the mixture on high speed until fluffy, then mix in the vanilla and orange juice.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and mix on low speed or by hand until the ingredients are well combined.

Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet and partially flatten them with the heel of your hand to a thickness of about ½ to ¾ of an inch.

Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes or until the edges are firm to the touch and lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cookies are cool, cover a baking sheet or a couple of plates with wax paper. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in a double boiler or (carefully) in the microwave in a shallow bowl. Mix well so that the shortening is evenly distributed throughout the molten chocolate. If using a double boiler, remove the chocolate mixture from the heat once melted and pour into a shallow bowl.

Taking one cookie at a time, drop it right-side-up into the chocolate so that the bottom is covered in chocolate. Remove the cookie from the chocolate and place it on the wax paper. Repeat for each cookie. You can use a spoon to drizzle any leftover chocolate over the tops of the cookies.

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