Chocolate chip cookies are a classic. Chewy and rich with butter and brown sugar and flecked with a generous amount of chocolate chips and toasted nuts (optional but in my opinion a necessity), they are my go-to dessert when baking for a crowd. Whether they are baked as individual cookies or in bar form, I love them. But sometimes I like to add an unexpected twist to my cookies. In this case, that new twist is orange.
Orange is added to these cookies in two forms; with orange zest and potent orange extract. The double orange adds flavor without being overpowering. It is subtle and enticing and takes this classic treat to a whole new level. So go ahead and try it. You won’t be disappointed.
ORANGE INFUSED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place the pecans in a dry skillet set over medium-high heat. Toast until brown and fragrant being careful not to scorch them. Let cool slightly, chop them, then set them aside.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and using an electric beater set on a medium speed, beat until the butter is creamy and fluffy.
- Add the sugar, brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla and orange extracts. Beat for 1 minute.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the batter and use a rubber spatula to fold them into the cookie batter.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan making sure to spread it into the corners of the pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on top.
- Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Yields: 30 small bars