These cookies are always included in my gift boxes for the holidays. They pack and travel well and are delicious. This is a vintage recipe from a magazine, I can’t really remember how old the recipe is for sure, or what magazine it came from. The original recipe is just chocolate and vanilla with rum flavoring, I made some additions that I think make this cookie unique and more interesting, To the chocolate dough I add orange zest and the vanilla dough has cardamom. The flavors are subtle yet you know they are there.
I love how easy these cookies are to make, nothing complicated and they are so pretty and in my opinion very festive. The dough freezes well and I think it tastes even better after sitting in the freezer for a while. One very important thing to note is that these cookies are best when baked for EXACTLY the amount of time specified. If baked too long they become a bit too hard. I bake them for exactly 11 minutes and they are perfect.
Makes Approximately 36 cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup good quality shortening at room temperature (I like spectrum)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
zest of one orange
1/3 cup (1.5 oz)semi sweet chocolate melted (use the microwave method it’s great)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup toasted walnuts chopped finely
- In mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment for approximately 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda and salt and beat until combined. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Add flour and mix to combine with spoon. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals stirring in between. It took me 60 seconds.
- Divide dough in half. Knead the melted chocolate and walnuts into half of the dough and then the cardamom and orange zest into the other half. Line a 9x5x3 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Divide chocolate dough in half and press into the bottom of the loaf pan, now divide the vanilla dough in half and press on top of chocolate layer, now another chocolate layer and finish with the vanilla layer. Cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you plan on freezing the dough after the initial 30 minutes in the refrigerator invert, wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and place in ziplock bag ( I like to double wrap anything going in the freezer). Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
- Remove from refrigerator, invert onto cutting board and remove plastic wrap. Divide into 3 equal pieces (each is 3 inches) and cut each third into 12 equal pieces that are about 1/4 inch thick. Place on baking sheet with either parchment or silpat and bake for 10-12 minutes turning baking sheet around halfway through baking (5 minutes) CAREFUL NOT TO OVERBAKE remove from oven when edges start to turn a light brown. If you leave them in longer than the prescribed baking time they become over done and are really crunchy. I took out my batch of cookies at 11 minutes. They were just right. Its almost counterintuitive but it’s important for this recipe to adhere to the bake time.