easy desserts & recipes: cream filled chocolate & orange shortbread cookies

easy desserts & recipes: cream filled chocolate & orange shortbread cookies It was 1977 and I was 9 years old when my sister took me to the theater and I saw the most amazing special effects movie of my life. I never cared for sci-fi movies as a child because, oddly enough, I found them unrealistic. (Funny, though, I did like the Jetsons, the cartoon about a futuristic family.) I grew up watching the classics from the 1940’s and 1950’s. And, after seeing every action/sci-fi movie ever made (you do that when you have two boys) I still prefer the classics. But, I will always have a fondness for Star Wars. George Lucas’ science fiction extravaganza opened up my eyes to a level of imagination I never considered and the story seemed completely plausible to my 9 year old logic. A whole generation of Star Wars fans was born on May 25, 1977 when the blockbuster movie opened for the first time. The movie was an instant hit, earning over $450 million in the US alone. Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon that has ceased to be any less relevant than the day it opened. Lucas’ Star Wars Empire has grossed over $4,800,000,000 worldwide over the past 35 years. With its timeless plot of good versus evil and a total of six Star Wars films my children have also grown up loving the series. There was a time when my own two boys were younger that my home was filled with the sound of dueling light sabers and the breathing of Darth Vader. Of course, being the only female in the house I’d have to don the earmuffs, pretending to be Princess Leia. The light sabers have been donated to charity along with the Darth Vader helmet. But, the love of Star Wars continues as my son leaves for school wearing a t-shirt that has a print of Darth Vader and the following saying: “Join the dark side. We have cookies.” We may not be on the dark side, but we do have cookies. You will need a Jedi mind trick to resist these delicious chocolate cookies. Bring them to your next picnic and the forces will be with you (couldn’t resist).
Cream-filled Chocolate/Orange Shortbread Cookies (Cookie from Simply Recipes) Ingredients 1 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon of orange zest Directions 1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. 3. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a mixer for 5 minutes, being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix for 30 seconds. Add about half the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Scrape down the bottom and sides and add the rest of the flour mixture. Once incorporated mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. 4. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on it. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness with a rolling pin. (You can also lightly flour a work space, but I find my method far easier, cleaner, and the shortbread keeps a sandy texture by not picking up the extra flour.) You may find the dough getting too soft. If it does, place it in the freezer for ten minutes to firm it up before you continue rolling or cutting. (The dough is very hard to work with when soft.) Cut into desired shapes and place on the baking sheets about 1-inch apart. 5. Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. It can be difficult to tell when these cookies are done, so when they smell like freshly baked cookies and the edges are slightly firm but still give a bit. Remove the pans and allow the cookies to cool for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Vanilla Cream Filling (Martha Stewart) Ingredients 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (butter flavored) 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract Directions 1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
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    • May 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm //

      Do you remember, ah darn, the name escapes me, there was this chocolate and orange dessert (shaped like an orange)? I forget the name? Choco and Orange really does mesh well together, the test recipe came out perfect.

  • May 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm //

    Awesome flavor combo, nice! And after all these years, the Jedis are still the coolest!

    • May 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm //

      Aren’t they? I’m still quite smitten with Yoda = )

  • May 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm //

    I gotta make those too. They look so pretty and tempting.

    • May 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm //

      Thank you Angie = )

  • May 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm //

    We’re of the same generation and I felt the same way about the Jetsons and Star Wars. :)

    One of my favorite flavor combos is chocolate and orange–love these!

    • May 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm //

      Yes, we just might be “wink”. I am still quite smitten with Yoda = ) (the Jetsons) I was planted in front of the telly when they came on, Saturday am, cartoons!!!

  • May 27, 2012 at 2:04 am //

    Stunning!! Love chocolate and orange! Wonderful recipe!

    • May 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm //

      Orange and choco really do mesh well together = ) Have a fab weekend Katie = )

  • May 27, 2012 at 2:37 am //

    How do your cookies turn out so perfect! They look so good and I bet they taste divine!

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:43 am //

      A few practices with recipe tests (in small batches) =)

  • May 27, 2012 at 3:08 am //

    I’d enjoy the dark side, too, if it involved these fabulous cookie! The Jetsons was probably my favorite cartoon growing up :)

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:43 am //

      Was the the mothers name “Betty”, I can’t remember but it was a Saturday cartoon fav of ours as well =)

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:42 am //

      “wink” muhahahaha = )

  • May 27, 2012 at 6:55 am //

    My son adored Star Wars too! I became so involved with him in collecting the action figures, I collected Yoda. My collection still resides on my dresser in a special display case. :) The chocolate cream filled cookies are scrumptious! The photo is just irresistible.

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:42 am //

      I’m still quite smitten with Yoda, I would push my little barbie dolls aside that I got for Christmas and play with my brother’s toys (they had the star wars base station) (can’t remember the name) but their toys looked like much, much more fun!

      • May 31, 2012 at 12:54 am //

        Your post was a gentle nudge, I dusted and rearranged my Yoda’s. They always impart a bit of wisdom into my day. I refuse to pack them away, as Yoda would not approve.

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:41 am //

      ohhh What is that brand of chocolate that is in the shape of an orange? Darn, I can’t remember the name?

  • May 27, 2012 at 10:59 am //

    great cookie recipe! And I used to love the Jetsons too :)

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:40 am //

      YES.. The jetsons!!! The modern aspects seemed so untouchable back then, but now, POSSIBLE = )

  • May 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm //

    I’m so in awe of these cookies…I’m already a chocolate freak and this photo has me drooling all over the place. GORGEOUS!

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:40 am //

      ooooh, what is your favorite brand of chocolate?

  • May 28, 2012 at 12:51 am //

    These cookies look absolutely gorgeous, especially with the cocoa on top. I love the addition of the orange zest, what a perfect combination of flavors.

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:39 am //

      Orange and Chocolate go so well together, I love candied orange peel as well when I was younger I didn’t care for fruit and chocolate so much but it’s grown on me.

  • May 28, 2012 at 11:27 am //

    These cookies look divine. They look very professional. Orange and chocolate? What could go wrong with that? NOTHING! :-)

  • May 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm //

    What you said is right. The Darth Vader breathing was something caught my attention in those days. And I never missed any of those serials of Star Trek (my fav was Mr Spock)

    • May 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm //

      Oh yes.. Mr. Spock, I honestly didn’t watch too much of Mr. Spock but when I caught the show I was glad it was on. 1980′s kid!!!! (it’s so obvious) Thank you for commenting.

  • May 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm //

    I’m sad to say I’m one of those people who didn’t watch the star wars! I swear i will one day since they’re basically legendary! :D These cookies will be an awesome treat then and maybe I’ll buy storm trooper mask.

    • May 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm //

      No!!! Jessica, say it ain’t so? “wink”, how can you resist the cute little Yoda? Okay, geek alert! The first movie I ever saw with my father was E.T. and I could watch it over and over again = )

  • May 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm //

    What gorgeous cookies! Chocolate orange is always a winner in my books!

    • May 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm //

      ooo Jennifer, do you remember that Orange Chocolate like Dessert (shaped into an orange)? After we tested the recipe, it sort of reminded us of that. I remember now..Terry’s of York, have you ever tried it before? I was a kid and my taste buds are more… um.. what’s the word, distinguished? So I’m not sure if I’d like it today =)

  • May 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm //

    I love the combo of orange and chocolate. Even every chocolate cake with a pinch of orange zest taste more enhanced! Wonderful cookies and photos!

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:39 am //

      Chocolate cake with some zest, isn’t so interesting how food, and flavors play such a scientific role in foods/baking?

  • May 29, 2012 at 12:02 am //

    Orange and chocolate makes awesome combo and the cookies look so pretty. Your lively photo is gorgeous.

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:38 am //

      Thank you Raji!

  • May 29, 2012 at 1:00 am //

    This brings back childhood memories of taking those little flower cookies and stacking them on my finger. We used to walk around with them on our fingers and then eat them every so slowly. Yours, however, are Wow, the ramped up versions! Yum.

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:38 am //

      OH YES.. Sarah, we did the same thing, that is truly hilarious. What were they called? Do you remember? I remember taking nibbles around my finger, seeing how far I could go until the center would break = ) then gravity took over = )

  • May 29, 2012 at 5:01 am //

    These look so great! Chocolate, orange and shortbread together – no better combo for the sweet tooth! :)

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:37 am //

      It’s so hard to exercise portion control when we were testing out the recipe, nibble here, nibble there = )

  • May 29, 2012 at 8:00 am //

    Ah, Star Wars! Such great movies. I should go back and watch the whole series again. And of course if I do, what could be better than these shortbread cookies? Nice combo of flavors, nice recipe – good stuff, thanks.

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:36 am //

      I am just waiting for it to come out on HD digital (I’m such a geek, buy all my movies from Apple TV, the HD, back on up an HD recorder, love it) E.T. is second best = )

  • May 29, 2012 at 8:25 am //

    lovely story. chocolate and orange are so great together.. i also love chocolate and raspberry. great recipe.

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:35 am //

      Oh yes… raspberry and chocolate, although I have not had that pair in quite a while, I think I had something by Lindt? Do they have a chocolate raspberry bar?

  • May 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm //

    The force was surely with you on these beauties. The flavors are great and the pictures gorgeous!

    • June 3, 2012 at 11:59 am //

      Thank you Sandra = )

  • June 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm //

    Another amazing post for me to drool over… I’m featuring it in this week’s Food Fetish Friday series (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and as always I love following your creations… Thanks so much for sharing.

    • June 3, 2012 at 11:59 am //

      Thank you Javelin!! Thank you so much for the exposure too = )

  • June 3, 2012 at 6:38 am //

    The cookies are the perfect combination, since orange and chocolate are amazing together. I love your son´s t-shirt!

    • June 3, 2012 at 11:59 am //

      Thank you Paula = )

  • June 7, 2012 at 5:07 am //

    These look too good :) Chocolate and orange are always a great pairing. Your photos are so beautiful as well; I was looking at some of your posts and everything just looks so clean and pure and perfect.

  • August 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm //

    MistyXoXo Posted on Thanks for the post, Clarice. My doctor first sutcepsed that I might have arthritis, but the hand x-rays came back normal and that’s when he considered Lupus. I hope you get through the winter without too much pain!