Holidays always seem like a time for reflection, right? Even though the time of year may seem arbitrary, I think there’s something to the forced closeness of colder weather that brings people together and for better or worse makes them sit with their friends, family, thoughts, and feelings.
I’ve always thought of Christmas cookies as a great distraction from the stress of the holidays. Of course they’re also just a fun and festive way to enjoy the season, but because I skew a little dark I tend to think of them as something people put out as a comforting buffer for tense conversations and awkward family dynamics.
I’m not going to lie – the holidays stress me out. There are a lot of expectations, the stress of traveling or hosting, and the inevitable drama. This last element is of course, different from family to family, and perhaps in some amazing and very lucky cases – non-existent (although I wouldn’t put money on it). But whether you’re a big-and-blustering-have-it-all-out-at-the-dinner-table family, or more of a passive-aggressive-comment-passed-with-the-mashed-potatoes type, I think we can all agree that the holidays are made better by the addition of cookies.
Eating them, baking them, and decorating them all hold pleasant childhood memories for me. And while I’m sure there was a spat here or there about how many to eat, the correct temperature to bake, or how best to decorate them, I think they brought us together and I am grateful for that.
So although this is not a baking blog and I probably won’t have scores and scores of elaborate cookie recipes here, I do encourage you to make loads of them this holiday season and of all types. Because memories, even if they are of your Mom yelling at her second cousin over the best way to make gravy, or the dog leaping right onto the fully set dining room table (true story), are important and best when accompanied by cookies. These simple orange and chocolate sugar cookie sandwiches will certainly get you off to a festive start. So enjoy and get to baking!Print
Orange Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
A pretty classic sugar cookie recipe (my mom’s ) gets a little tang of orange and a deep nudge of dark chocolate.
- Prep Time: 45 Mins
- Cook Time: 11 Mins
- Total Time: 56 minutes
- Yield: 28 1x
- Category: Cookies
- Cuisine: American
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp salt
4 tsp orange zest (from one, large orange)
2 C all-purpose flour
1 C semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy – 3 or 4 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add the egg, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Mix at medium speed until fully combined.
Add half of the flour and mix on low speed until no dry flour remains. Repeat with the remaining flour.
Lightly flour a 13×8 inch sheet of parchment paper. Dump half the dough into the center of the paper and squish into something vaguely resembling a rectangle. Lightly flour your rectangle of dough and put another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough out to ⅛ inch thickness (your dough will roughly reach the edges of the parchment paper in a few places). Place the dough, along with the parchment, on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer. Then repeat with the remaining dough. Chill dough for 15 minutes.
Using a 2 inch round cutter, or small glass, cut out rounds and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each cookie (they won’t spread very much at all during baking). The dough is a little fragile, so use a thin spatula when transferring the rounds.
Bake each sheet for 9-11 minutes. They are done when the tops of the cookies no longer look shiny.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely – they’re small so this won’t take too long.
While the cookies cool, melt the chocolate (I prefer to do this in a glass bowl in the microwave). Set aside.
Turn over half of the cookies so the bottom side is facing up. Spoon or pipe about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the center of each of the upturned cookies. Then sandwich with another cookie – yes I just told you how to make a sandwich – it’s fine.
Now you’re done – eat and enjoy!
Tip – this dough is very soft so work with it between parchment and then cut and bake when cold. This will prevent the cookies from breaking when you cut them and spreading as they bake.
Keywords: orange and chocolate dessert, sandwich cookies, christmas cookies