This weekend, to entertain a semi-regular urge to bake something sweet, to create my own spin on a recipe, and to make a treat for a friend stuck in the middle of exam week in medical school, I created a delicious batch of oatmeal cookies inspired by one of our favorite gourmet chocolate bars, the Lindt Excellence “Intense Orange,” which is dark chocolate infused with bits of candied orange peel (and almond slivers as I found out from the website). Here’s the recipe for my (almond-free) Orange-Scented Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Cream together:
– 2 sticks (1/2 pound) room temperature unsalted butter
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3. Then stir in the remaining “wet” ingredients:
– 2 eggs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– freshly grated zest from 1 orange
4. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Then, fold in:
– 3 cups rolled oats
– 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
6. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. (I like to line mine with parchment paper for easy clean-up and no sticking. I’m also a fan of the mini ice cream scoop for uniformly portioned cookies).
The orange zest helps add a little bit more moisture to these cookies making them slightly chewier than your average oatmeal cookie, while also adding some bright, fresh flavor. I just think orange and chocolate pair so well together! And just because I called these “grown-up” oatmeal cookies doesn’t mean that kids won’t enjoy them too; after all, they’re not necessarily cookies for grown-ups, just a more sophisticated, grown-up spin on the classic oatmeal cookie.
So the next time you get an urge to bake something, give these a try (especially as we get into the winter season and citrus fruits become more readily available)! Let me know what you think!