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orange shortbreadThanks for stopping by today.

We’re experiencing some very cold weather for around here and the snow, ice and freezing temperatures are in full effect.  Of course, it’s nothing like they’re getting in Boston, but when our weather heads below 20 °  it tends to shut things down around here.

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I thought I’d share what’s left of the snow that arrived Monday evening. It was mostly sleet but snow did fall.  In fact as I type this it’s started to snow again. Looking ahead to Sunday, it will be 61°.  Very typical for North Carolina.

Since we’re on day three of a snow/ice event, I’m in the kitchen baking.

I made this shortbread recipe as part of our whirlwind of Christmas baking and it was a simple slice and bake cookie that was easy to make.  I made it again this afternoon, but used the zest of blood oranges I had picked up Monday.

The cookies are flecked with various shades of orange zest and are so pretty. If you’re drinking lots of hot tea to keep you warm this winter, this is the perfect treat to go along with your hot beverage.

slice and bake orange shortbread

After mixing the dough, I divided it in half, shaping each half into a 7-inch long half. I wrapped each log in parchment paper and chilled them in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Once they’re done chilling, I sliced them into about 24 slices.

slice and bake orange shortbread cookiesThen I placed them onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 1-inch apart and baked them for about 10 minutes in a 350° oven until the edges were light golden brown.

slice and bake orange shortbread cookiesYou can leave them plain.  But what’s the fun in that?

To dip your cookies in chocolate, I used 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips melted in the microwave.  I’ve included directions as part of the recipe. Place your dipped orange shortbread cookies into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate time to set up.

I’ve got quite a few recipes I’m hoping to share over the next 10 days.  Let’s hope the electricity holds out during our snow/ice/cold event.

Stay warm where you are!

Recipe adapted from this one.

Chocolate-Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

1 C unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp blood orange zest

Method

Beat 1 cup softened butter at medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts and orange zest until blended.

Stir together 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Shape shortbread dough into 2 (7-inch) logs. Wrap each log in parchment paper, and chill 4 hours in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350°.   Cut each log into 24 slices. Place shortbread slices 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake shortbread slices at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of slices are light golden brown.

Remove shortbread from baking sheets, and place onto wire racks to cool completely.

To melt chocolate in microwave: add 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips to a microwavable bowl.  Microwave on high 1 minute.  Remove and stir.  Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Continue at 50% power for 30 second intervals until completely melted.

Dip cooled shortbread cookies halfway into melted chocolate, placing dipped cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets.  When all of the cookies have been dipped, place the baking sheets into the refrigerator for 10 minutes for the chocolate to set up.

Store cookies in airtight containers.

Yield: 48 cookies

Allison {Main St. Cuisine}

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