Orange Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

While I usually don’t like whole fruit in my desserts, I am a fan of certain flavors (especially when combined with chocolate). It’s a texture thing. Also, I have the palate of a 6-year-old child. Nonetheless, I’ve always enjoyed chocolate and orange when presented in the right proportions. And this particular effort seems to be right on the nose when it comes to striking a balance between the tang of everyone’s favorite soccer-halftime treat and the reason I shopped in the husky section while in high school.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 medium oranges)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and orange zest. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand up mixer set on medium, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl if need be.
  5. Slowly add in the flour mixture. It’s got cocoa in it, so prepare yourself for a fine mist to cover your kitchen counter. I’ve yet to be able to figure out a way to keep this from happening. Any suggestions, I’m all ears.
  6. Add the chocolate chunks and optional pecan pieces and mix until evenly distributed.
  7. Drop the cookies by rounded tablespoons onto a prepared baking sheet (see: lined with parchment paper), about 2 inches apart.  This is too messy for me, so skip to step #9 if you need order in your life. This way makes prettier looking cookies, though.
  8. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until firm. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before moving them to a wire rack.
  9. Cover and chill dough for about 1 – 2 hours in your refrigerator.
  10. Roll chilled dough into balls about 1.5 inches in diameter and place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Give ’em a nice smoosh.
  11. Bake for 13 – 16 minutes until firm. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before moving them to a wire rack.
  12. Listen to your co-workers complain when you give these to someone else. Promise you’ll make something specifically for them next week.
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