Chocolate + Orange
If chocolate chip cookies and blondies had a love child, it would be these cookie bars, plus orange! Chocolate and orange have been going together for a long time now. It is a classic flavor combination I happen to love…probably more than chocolate and berries!
I know, I know…I’m a monster! LOL no but really there is something to be said about the delicate citrus nuance that brings out the floral notes in dark chocolate or by the more commonly known name; semi-sweet chocolate.
I mean, they aren’t lying – dark chocolate is definitely SEMI sweet, plus the experts tout it’s antioxidant properties thus making us feel even better about our chocolate indulgences.
At least I do.
So, what about the cookies?
The other day before I made these for some reason I was thinking of when I was really little, like 2 or almost 3 and my first real memories of helping in the kitchen were with my neighbor and god-mother Celestia.
She always had something cooking and she got me to try things I probably wouldn’t have always tried being that of my young age. One of my favorite things we used to make were chocolate covered oranges. So simple yet so delicious. What a creative way for her to get me to eat my fruit AND pose it as a dessert.
Chocolate chip cookies remind me of my mother. You can’t mistake the undeniably intoxicating scent of freshly baked cookies in the oven at home. Walking in to that smell is literally a definition of home to me.
So after all my flashbacks of the younger years I looked at my two year old daughter and decided to make a mash up of the two.
Taking it one step further
After deciding to make my mini dessert mash up I thought why not take it one step further and instead of old fashioned cookies, make bars!
The one thing I love about bars is you get the best of both worlds; crunchy and soft. The outer cookie bars have crispier edges while the inner cookie bars are soft and chewy.
With the addition of the slight citrus from the orange zest and extract, these orange chocolate chip cookie bars are a simple, surprising, delight.
While they may look like ordinary chocolate chip cookie bars, they have so much more flavor to offer with the addition of the orange.
Still AMAZING to dunk in milk.
- 2 Sticks Butter, Softened
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 White Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- Zest, 1 Orange
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Orange Extract
- 2 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
- Step One
With a stand mixer, place softened butter into the bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add both the white and brown sugars along with the salt and orange zest. Mix well.
Add eggs to the mixture beating on medium speed. Pause mixer after about a minute to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Proceed to mix on medium to high speed until eggs are fully combined. Add both extracts.
On low speed, slowly add the flour and baking soda. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from mixer. Fold the chocolate chips and walnuts into the cookie dough by hand.
Once cookie dough is mixed evenly, spread mixture evenly onto a generously greased baking sheet pan with a lipped edge (jelly roll pan). You can use butter or shortening to grease the sheet pan; I used butter.
Bake the cookie dough in a preheated oven 350 F for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. After toothpick comes out clean from the middle, remove from oven and let cool 30 minutes.
Cut cookie dough into bars. Transfer cookie bars onto a wire rack to cool further. Orange flavor comes out best after at least two hours of cooling and are even better the next day!
If you want to make these into individual cookies, increase the oven temperature to 375 F. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies.
If using a dark or non-stick pan, you may want to stay at 350 F or do a small test batch first.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is estimated and may not be accurate.