I am a lucky, lucky girl. I get my organic CSA produce box delivered with a little something sweet tucked in on top of all the fruits and veggies. Auntie Em’s produce delivery is run by local chef extraordinaire, Theresa Wahl of Bobby Flay Throwdown cupcake fame (her Red Velvets beat him out).
This week my complimentary bakery items were two orange and rosemary chocolate chip cookies. Oh. My. Let me tell you just how delicious they were. Normally, I am a very generous person. When I receive a sweet, delicious baked good inside of my CSA box, no matter how tiny, I divide it into slivers and share it with my husband and children.
Not these babies! With these little gems, only my daughter received a cookie because I just couldn’t stop myself from eating one whole cookie and hogging it for myself. My husband didn’t even know it came with the box. I threw away the carton and any evidence (crumbs!). Lucky for me, he only reads some of my posts so I think I may be safe with letting this secret out of the bag here.
I was bound and determined to recreate these citrus-y, chewy chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm. I was thinking about them all day. The texture was really something special, chewy but not crispy, orange flavored but not overpowering, and the touch of rosemary added an entirely new layer of flavor.
Well, I made two different batches trying to recreate them and actually came up with two very different, but delicious cookies; one flat, chewy and just slightly crisp and the other fluffy and scone-like with crunchy sugar atop. Both were totally YUM.
When I took a bite of the fluffy one, I was sure IT was my favorite! Then I took a bite of the flat, chewy one and decided that IT was my favorite. Which one would I post on? Neither was exactly like the ones in my CSA box, but they were both delectable and worthy of posting.
I decided to bring the cookies with me to the office and let the power of the people decide which cookie was better. I was sort of in a Throwdown with myself. I asked my coworkers to mark which cookie they liked better and give it a score from one to ten.
Well the scores were almost exactly tied and the scores ranged from 8 to 10 on both cookies. I shared my dilemma with a coworker. She told me to post on BOTH cookies! You think I could have come up with that all by myself, but ah well, apparently I was having a dumb day. It happens to the best of us.
Anyhow, if you ever make one or both, please let me know what you think. They are both my creations and both will now make it into my cookie gift tins at the holidays.
VERY IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE:If you are serving them at a party or giving them as gifts, you may want to make up a nice little tag with your cookies that plainly states, “Orange and Rosemary Infused Chocolate Chip cookies.” You wouldn’t want anyone to have to guess as to what the little green dots in your cookies are. Thanks Brenda for that tip!
P.S. I think chopped, blanched almonds would be a divine addition, but I do not have a nut-loving clan so I did not add them to mine.
Fluffy, Soft Scone-like Rosemary and Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields approximately 3 dozen small cookies
3 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 stick of salted butter, softened
1 1/4 c. of granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
1 T. orange juice
2 T. grated orange peel (orange part ONLY!–the white pith is very bitter)
3 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 c. of mini chocolate chips
1/4 c. of granulated sugar in a small bowl
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Either spray coat your baking sheets or place parchment paper or a Silpat mat on top of them.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange juice and orange peel. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients, 1/2 at a time, beating in between on medium. Add rosemary and chocolate chips. Scoop round spoonfuls (I used a small icecream scoop or use a medium sized spoon) and roll in the granulated sugar. Place the mounds of cookie dough onto the prepared pan, separating them by 1.5 inches.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until slightly golden at the edges. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Flat and Chewy, Rosemary and Orange Infused Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields approximately two dozen cookies.
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. orange zest
1/4 to 1/2 t. natural orange extract (hint of orange or more pronounced?)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. rice flour (or cake flour or just all purpose)
3/4 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 c. roughly chopped dark chocolate into small chunks
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Either place parchment paper or a Silpat mat on top of them.
Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest and orange extract. In a separate bowl whisk together flours, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and cream together on medium speed. Add rosemary and chocolate chunks and combine. Drop onto prepared pan using a small ice cream scoop, separating them by two inches. Spray a little nonstick coating on your hand and lightly press down on each ball of dough. See photo of dough on cookie sheet above. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. They should feel lightly firm to the touch. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then remove with a spatula and let cool on a wire rack.