This year’s holiday baking list is long with a capital L.
The past few Decembers I’ve penciled in things I want to make only to have that task followed by the days disappearing and me running out of steam. So I put them off until the next year.
Well, this is the year that I’m making it ALL.
Now, most of these things are traditional recipes and the recipes of others. I checked off rugelach (a lovely apricot pistachio version from Martha Stewart Living) this past weekend. I still have stollen, lebkuchen, Danish butter cookies and panettone to get to.
Since I share mostly original recipes here, that leaves me little to post, besides a few photos. So I still feel like I should come up with at least one new holiday baking recipe to share with you.
This is that recipe. My 2016 holiday cookie.
It’s a twist on my standard shortbread made with raw sugar and white whole wheat flour, one of my very favorite cookie recipes.
For this version, I added cocoa powder, candied ginger, and orange zest.
They are perfectly crumbly, not too sweet, and full of orange and ginger flavor.
They make great giveaway cookies because they stack nicely in a clear candy sleeve or cookie bag. If you want to serve them on a cookie platter and prefer them a little more dressed up, a small piece of candied orange peel set on top before baking makes a nice touch.
Orange Candied Ginger Chocolate Shortbread
Makes about 24 cookies
Note: The dough will need to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes so plan ahead.
What you’ll need:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons raw sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons orange zest (about 1 orange)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
24 small pieces of candied orange peel, optional
How to make it:
Cream together the butter and 1/2 cup of raw sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium to medium-high for about 2 minutes, until lightened and well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mix in the cocoa powder and then the orange zest and vanilla. Mix in the salt. Add the flour a little at a time and continue to mix until the flour is incorporated and a dry cookie dough forms. Finally mix in the candied ginger.
Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap, about 16 inches long. It will be a bit dry, but will hold when pressed together. Form the dough into a log about 12 inches long. Sprinkle the log with the remaining 2 tablespoons of raw sugar and roll it to coat the outside. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and cut into 24 equal slices. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Top with a piece of candied orange peel, if using.
Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges are firm. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a cooking rack and allow to cool completely before serving. (These cookies crumble easily until they are cooled completely so leave them on the baking sheet as long as possible before disturbing.)