Orange Infused Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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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

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