Fudgy, chocolate cookies filled with dark chocolate chips and hints of orange zest. These Orange Chocolate Cookies are perfect for any cookie exchange!
12 Days of Holiday Treats: Day 2
Welcome to day 2 of SugarSpicesLife 12 Days of Holiday Treats! I’ve been thinking about this series all year and am so excited that it’s here! I just wish we could all sit around eating these treats together. That would be the best.
Orange Chocolate Cookies
Today’s treat recipe is for Orange Chocolate Cookies. I am a big fan of chocolate and orange together. When I was a kid, I remember getting the Terry’s Holiday Milk Chocolate Orange in my stocking each year and being so happy about it.
Those chocolate oranges were the inspiration for two of my favorite recipes on my blog:
And now, they’re an inspiration for cookies!
Cookies That Don’t Spread
On all of the cookie blogs, people talk about their recipes for cookies that are thick, and don’t spread too much. I get it, I like thick cookies. But sometimes, I actually want my cookies to spread.
For example, my Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with more liquid to make them spread. I wanted those cookies to be stuffed, but thin.
When experimenting with the recipe for these Orange Chocolate Cookies, I made them both thick, and thin. For these, I’m in the thicker camp. It’s like a little brownie cookie!
*Note: If you want to try a thinner version, add 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed orange juice and increase the light brown sugar from 1/4 up to 1/3 cup.
The orange flavor in these cookies comes from orange zest in the dough and on top after they are baked.
If you want to increase the orange flavor even more, you could consider adding 1/4 teaspoon orange extract, or using cut up chocolate oranges instead of chocolate chips.
This recipe uses Dutch process cocoa powder. I use Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark.
If you know a lot about cocoa powder, you may be thinking, “how is the cocoa powder activated if there is baking soda and no baking powder?” It’s because of the brown sugar. As brown sugar is acidic, it activates the baking soda.
Can you substitute natural cocoa powder? For sure. BUT, your cookies will not have as much of a chocolate flavor.
I made these cookies chilling the dough, and not chilling the dough. Good news – it doesn’t make a big difference. The chilled dough gave slightly fluffier cookies, so if you have the time, I do recommend chilling the dough for 30 to 60 minutes. However, if you’re short on time, not a big deal.
These Orange Chocolate Cookies are full of delicious, holiday flavors!
Orange Chocolate Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar gently packed
- Zest of 3 large oranges divided
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Use electric mixer fit with paddle attachment to beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and zest of two oranges until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in egg until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Chill dough for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Form dough into balls ~1 tablespoon in size. Place on prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until tops no longer look wet. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle zest of remaining orange on top of cookies.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
If you enjoyed these Chocolate Orange Cookies, you might also enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes: