Some flavour combinations work very well together and chocolate and orange is no exception! Chocolate Orange Cookies are light and airy and bursting with bright citrus flavour!
WHY ARE ORANGES SYNONYMOUS WITH CHRISTMAS?
Do you know why oranges are so symbolic of Christmas? There are a few reasons why, and I’m going to talk about a few of them in this post. I used to receive an orange in my stocking at Christmastime every year. The stockings that my parents would pack for us back in the 80s and 90s were quite different.
I remember stockings not being a big deal at all. And, I can’t remember our stockings being stockings, but being fashioned more like a bag. I can’t remember the earlier years, but I can remember our stockings being Christmas-themed gift bags. Truth be told, I loved those, because mom and dad could fit more into them!
DO YOU PACK A STOCKING ON CHRISTMAS EVE?
Every single time I pack a stocking I always think back on the stockings I would open on Christmas morning. I stuff stockings with gift cards, chocolates, and smaller items like a DVD or a magazine, etc.
My childhood stocking never consisted of gift cards or presents of any kind. Our stockings were mostly food. I remember there being a can of Pringles. There would always be a can of Cott or RC Cola. A Toblerone bar was quite common, as well as an over-sized candy cane.
Without fail, there would be pretzels, and a box of Neilson chocolates. There was always a bunch of grapes wrapped in aluminum foil. There would be hard Christmas candy, an apple, a banana, and always, that one familiar orange right at the bottom. I wish there would have been some of these Chocolate Orange Cookies in it!
I TAKE A CHRISTMAS STOCKING VERY SERIOUSLY
The only food items I include in a stocking is a chocolate of some type. I like to include a roll of lifesavers or even a package of breath mints. Oh, and I did mention that they are all wrapped. Every single item, no matter how big or how small, no matter how cheap or how expensive, etc., each and every item in the stocking is wrapped in Christmas paper.
It’s become a tradition. And, once all of the presents under the tree are opened, we take turns opening one item at a time from our stocking. But, looking back on my adult years, not once have I packed an orange in a stocking. You can read about our family traditions here.
SO, WHY ORANGES?
So, why are oranges such a popular stocking stuffer in the first place? Once upon a time, oranges were quite expensive and were only afforded by the wealthy. In traditional Christmas fashion, it’s a time of year of indulgence, so many not-so-wealthy individuals would splurge and purchase oranges for their children. It was a sign of prosperity and good things to come to partake in a fresh orange on Christmas morning.
Another reason is that oranges symbolize the season of giving. Since oranges are so easily divided because of the sections, the orange was the perfect food for sharing with friends and family. If only one orange could be purchased, then everyone could get a section or two at least.
One particular reason stems from an old fable from years ago. As the story goes, a man had three daughters that he could not marry because he was too poor to afford a dowry. St. Nicolas tossed three bags of gold down the chimney, which happened to land in each of the girl’s stockings. With the bags of gold, (balls of orange) the three daughters were married and lived happily ever after.
Hmmmm… does that mean if I put an orange in McKenna’s stocking this year she’ll think I’m trying to marry her off early?
Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas – Volume 1 can be found in its entirety by clicking on the following image. All of the recipes can be found on one page!
Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas – Volume 2 can be found in its entirety by clicking on the following image. All of the recipes can be found on one page!
Every Christmas table needs a cake! Click on the image below to see Lord Byron’s 12 Bundt Cakes of Cookies of Christmas!
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Chocolate Orange Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup candied orange peel
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a hand-held mixer to cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the orange juice and orange zest. Beat into the butter mixture.
- Add the flour and salt. Beat until just incorporated.
- Add the chocolate and the candied orange peel. Beat until just mixed through.
- Divide the cookie dough into three equal portions. Place two portions aside, and keep them covered they don’t dry out.
- Lightly pat the cookie dough into a ball and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut rolled dough into rounds using a cookie cutter. (I used a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter.) Transfer to baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie. Round up remaining dough and roll again until dough is used up. Repeat with the other two portions of cookie dough.
- Bake for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
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