Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Easy Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread that's perfect for tea time or a bedtime snack by ibakeheshoots.com

I used to work in a bakery.

Actually, I worked in two, simultaneously: one franchise and one local. Working at the local bakery was awful (you can read all about it here, if you like). I would only do it again, if: 1) I owned the bakery, or 2) see #1.

It wasn’t all for naught. I really learned a lot (forgive my faux rhyming skills).

Easy Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread that's perfect for tea time or a bedtime snack by ibakeheshoots.com

Just a few lessons I learned while working at the franchise bakery

1) First impressions are a real thing. Don’t be that person who didn’t immediately wash her dishes the first time around. The stigma will stick and spread like wildfire. Further attempts to be a fastidious dishwasher will be unanimously ignored.

2) Always wear the long oven mitts. Burning you forearm on a super hot baking sheet may be a rite of passage, but that shit hurts…and bulbous scar tissue is about as sexy as an adult wearing a onesie.

3) Quality is key. I don’t care if your business is “circling the drain”, baking with imitation vanilla is not only gross, it’s deceitful. Plus, if you do, you will lose the respect of your employees which is just almost as important as the quality of your product.

Easy Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread that's perfect for tea time or a bedtime snack by ibakeheshoots.com

Perhaps, my experience would’ve been pleasant if baking orange chocolate chip shortbread were part of my duties. This shortbread is simple, but heightened by the addition of orange zest.

Easy Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread that's perfect for tea time or a bedtime snack by ibakeheshoots.com

To obtain the most flavor from the orange zest you must grind it with the sugar, until it’s moist and fragrant.  The result is a light, crispy cookie with a smooth, citrus finish. It pairs nicely with your afternoon tea or have it alone, as a bedtime snack.

Easy Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread that's perfect for tea time or a bedtime snack by ibakeheshoots.com

And if you break one or two, don’t worry about it. I promise they’ll still be just as good.

 

Recipe for Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Recipe for Orange Chocolate Shortbread slightly adapted from Shop Girl which she adapted from Ina Garten.

Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Makes ~16 cookies
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • zest of 2 large oranges, ~5 tsp
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine flour and salt in small bowl.
  2. Gather orange zest and set aside.
  3. Place sugar in mixer bowl. Add zest.
  4. Use back of spoon to mash zest and sugar together.
  5. Continue to mash until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  6. Add butter and vanilla. Mix on low for 1 minute.
  7. Add the flour with salt and mix until just combined.
  8. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
  9. Form dough into a flat disc and chill for 30 minutes.
  10. preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Roll dough into until ½ inch thick.
  12. Use 2 inch cutter to make cookies.
  13. Put cookies on a sheet pan and chill for another 10 minutes in the freezer(this reduces spreading while baking).
  14. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until bottom of cookies are golden brown.
  15. Cool completely and serve.

 

 

 

Chex Scotcheroos

If you love Butterfingers, you should make these double-dipped Chex Scotcheroos. Super easy, super delicious | ibakehehsoots.com

Did you know about Chex Scotcheroos?

Yeah? Well, I didn’t.

Apparently, they’re similar to rice crispies and made with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch chips? Wtf? Why didn’t I know about this?

I saw the recipe on Pinterest and that was it. Right then and there, I knew they were going to be my next thing.

Here’s what happened…

Read More…

All Things Thursday: Christmas Cookie Edition

All Things Thursday: Christmas Cookie Edition

Hey there. Happy All Things Thursday!

Remember me? I know, I know…it’s been a minute. Please forgive my tardiness. I just woke up from a 4 hr nap. Naps are very necessary when you’re crazy busy. Crazy busy doing what, you ask? Making cookies, man…tons and tons of cookies.

Typically, during Christmastime, people are making cookies as gifts or for general snacking purposes. I get it…’tis the season. The thing is…I bake cookies for a living so during the holidays, when I’m baking thousands of cookies for corporate parties and the like, I’m not really into making cookies for myself.

That being said, I do love the holidays and the cookie celebration it brings. If I weren’t up to my eyeballs in dough, these are the treats I’d put on my Christmas table…

When I’m in the mood for sweet and crispy, I reach for these Chocolate Star Cookies. (Williams-Sonoma)

Little clouds of joy topped with icing? Yes, please. Italian Anise Cookies (Food)

Ah…the genius of Dorie Greenspan. Speculoos Buttons (Bon Appetit)

The perfect Sugar Cookie.

Sometimes the perfect sugar cookie needs Royal Icing. (Cupcakes and Cashmere)

What would Christmas be like without Gingerbread Snowflakes? I don’t wanna know. (Martha Stewart)

How cool would your mantle look with this Gingerbread Men Garland? Pretty freakin’ cool, man. (Donna Hay)

That’s it for me, friends. I’m taking my ginger-honey tea and heading back to bed. I hope your holiday is filled with family, friends and Irish Whiskey…and cookies, of course.

 

Nothing wins you friends faster than a full cookie jar.
Mary Hunt Altfillisch

 

 

Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread & One of Those Days

Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread. Finally, a pumpkin cookie that's crispy | ibakeheshoots.com

Ever have one of those days?

One of those…just my luck, stay in bed, bag of of Oreos, watch Die Hard days?

Of course, you have. You’re a human being! Well, as luck would have it, I experienced just such a Crapfest the other day.

I don’t wanna go into details but I was feeling a bit blue. Whenever I get like that my first reaction is to eat/drink my feelings. But if I have an ounce of will power, which is rare, I force myself to get out of the house, out of my head and into my car. So I hopped into P-POS.  P-POS stands for Purple Piece of Shit. Hey, it’s a term of endearment, ok!

So…I was driving along, thinking about how I can make beer and cookies go together, when I slowly came to a red light and noticed some green paper on the ground.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: How slow was this chick going?

Answer: Slow enough to know that green paper was $20.

Needless to write, I pulled over, picked up the twenty, stuffed it in my jeans and took off like my ass was on fire. The rest of a day was a blur, but I remember feeling surprised and relieved. Yes, it was only twenty bucks but that’s a whole lot of Oreos…enough to eat through my feelings properly.

In the future, if Oreos aren’t an option, I hope I will have enough energy to make this Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread. I’ve worked on this recipe for a minute because cakey pumpkin cookies are just not my thang. It took a few tries but I finally removed most of the water content, as to produce a crispy shortbread. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Brown Butter. Butter is roughly twenty percent water. When you brown it, the water cooks off.
  2. Pumpkin Butter. Make a dense decadent pumpkin butter.
  3. Thin Cookie. Roll the dough no thicker than 1/3″. I prefer 1/8″-1/4″.

Go on, now. Make some brown butter pumpkin shortbread. It’s a wonderful treat…much like the six bags of Oreos I bought with the twenty that I found in the street.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread. Finally, a pumpkin cookie that's crispy | ibakeheshoots.com

Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread Recipe

Note: Use this recipe for Decadent Pumpkin Butter. I used the glaze from Lauren’s Latest Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Makes ~ 24 cookies, 2¼in
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ c butter, 113g, browned
  • ⅓ c powdered sugar, 34g
  • 1⅛ c flour, 135g
  • ⅛ t salt
  • ½ c decadent pumpkin butter, 135g
  • ½ t vanilla
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • ⅛ t ground cloves
  • ⅛ t ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cook butter on medium high for 3-5 minutes, until it becomes golden. Pour brown butter in a bowl and let cool.
  2. Mix the pumpkin butter and powdered sugar.
  3. Add cool brown butter and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Mix flour, salt, and spices.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
  6. Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper, roll ~1/3in thick and freeze for 10-15 minutes. There's no need to flour the parchment.
  7. Use a 2¼ in ring to cut out cookies. Re-roll scraps and repeat process.
  8. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 18-24 minutes.
  9. Remove cookies and let cool on rack.
  10. Glaze cookies, if desired.
  11. Remember: The thicker you roll the cookie, the longer it will take to bake. Watch carefully, as they will burn easily.

 

 

Brown Butter Pumpkin Shortbread Photo Notes

by David

This wasn’t fun.  Over the years, Mondo and I have shot a lot of cookies for Mondo’s Morsels and frankly, when it comes to photographing cookies, the creativity tank is on “E.”

The Old Days

Years ago when I first started shooting food, film was my thing.  It’s almost laughable now, but I would use a 24 exposure roll and dedicate 6 shots to each setup.  Film and processing was expensive so this made complete sense.  If I didn’t get the shot in 6 tries ….. tough luck.

With digital, I usually dedicate 10-20 shots per setup.  For this shoot, I was at 100 shots and had gone from bad to average.  The cookies in the cup just weren’t working.  I finally got something usable, but it wasn’t great.

When we finally moved over to the green mat with the cookies on the grate, we got it in 6.  Go figure.

Lighting

The lighting is the same as the Decadent Pumpkin Butter shoot.  Both were done on the same day so I didn’t bother rearranging the strobes.

Lighting setup for brown butter pumpkin shortbreadTechnical

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Tamron 17-50mm 2.8
Strobes: White Lightning x1600
Tripod: Manfrotto
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 50mm
Shutter: 125
Aperture: f/11