Sunday, April 13, 2008

Orange Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I'd like to share one of my variations of a recipe from "The Search For The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie". The original recipe was on page 67 and called "California Chocolate Chip Cookies". The recipe is basically the same, except that I have used almonds rather than walnuts (I'm not a fan of walnuts - but LOVE almonds!). used a combo of whole wheat and all purpose flour, and increased the amount of orange juice. I also increased the recipe by 50% as I prefer making large batches in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, then freezing the baked cookies so that I can thaw them as needed. 10 or 12 seconds on high in a microwave will make any thawed cookie taste like it just came out of the oven! If you do not have a stand mixer then please make only 1/2 of this recipe (use 2 eggs if making half recipe) as the dough is heavy and will overwork a standard electric hand mixer.


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup finely ground almonds
1 1/2 cups margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
fresh, finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges (about 2 Tablespoons)
juice of 2 medium oranges (about 1/3 cup)
4 cups semi sweet or dark chocolate chipits
2 cup chopped almonds


Combine flours, baking soda, salt and ground almonds. Set aside.

In a stand mixer combine the margarine and sugars on low speed to combine, then increase speed and mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, orange juice and zest. Mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed till well combined. Add the chocolate chipits and almonds and mix till evenly blended.

Cover and chill dough for 2 or 3 hours. Form into balls about an inch or so around. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a pre-heated 350F oven. Carefully slide the parchment paper and hot cookies on to cooling racks to cool completely. Makes 11 to 12 dozen Flavourful Delicious cookies!

TIP: When I'm baking cookies, I always have four or five cookie sheets ready with a sheet of parchment paper for each pan. As each pan comes out I slide the sheet and cookies on to cooling racks, then when the pan and cookies are cooled, I can reuse the same paper on the same pan for additional cookie baking. Having several pans on the go assures that you will always have one pan in oven, one or two on standby and one to prep. This way you aren't wasting energy and time waiting for pans to cool to reuse. Each sheet of parchment paper can be used 2 or 3 times for cookie baking before it is too fragile to reuse.



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