Everyone has their staple Christmas cookie recipes, and this is one of mine. These are delicious and pretty shortbread cookies that never fail! They are a hit at parties and for Christmas gifts, and Santa loves them (of course)! The recipe comes from a friend who writes the blog Sing for Your Supper, it’s a fabulous blog and I definitely recommend it. Her recipes are to die for and she tells great stories about her kiddos, as well.
I’ve been making these cookies and another of her recipes (that I’ll post tomorrow) for Christmas the last several years and I just keep coming back for more!
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Orange Sables
Makes about 50 cookies
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- zest of 2 large oranges
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups melted dark chocolate, for dipping (you can use chips, or chop your own)
- Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the 1c butter at medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy.
- Add the 3/4c sugar, 1/2t salt, and orange zest and continue to beat until smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy, about 1 minute.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the 2 egg yolks and 1/2t almond extract, again beating until well blended.
- Turn off the mixer, pour in the 2c flour, drape a moist kitchen towel over the mixer and pulse the mixer about 5 times at low speed for 1 or 2 seconds each time. Take a peek; if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, stir for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. If you still have some flour on the bottom of the bowl, stop mixing and use a rubber spatula to work the rest of it into the dough. (The dough will not come together in a ball — and it shouldn’t. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you’re aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy dough. When pinched, it should feel a little like Play-Doh.)
- Scrape the dough onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long (it’s easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log). Wrap the logs well and chill them for at least 2 hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Trim the ends of the roll if they are ragged and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies.
- Place the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each cookie, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a cooling rack with a wide metal spatula. Repeat with the remaining log of dough. (Make sure the sheet is cool before baking each batch.)
- When the cookies are cool, melt the 2c dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. Make sure to stir in between intervals.
- Dip each cookie (I like to just dip half of the cookie) in the melted dark chocolate and place on wax paper. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt.