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Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick ( 1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (preferably imported), not chocolate chips, cut into 1/4- to 3/8-inch pieces
Generous 3/4 cup chopped Candied Orange Peel, or Orange and Lemon Peel
1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts or macadamia nuts

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt on a piece of wax paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, preferably with an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening until light. Add the sugars and continue beating until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, beating until the dough is well mixed. Add the chocolate, chopped citrus peel and nuts and fold in by hand or, if you have a heavy-duty mixer, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. The raw dough is delicious, so try not to eat it all before you bake the cookies.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper, form it into a ball, wrap it in the waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or butter them.

Divide the chilled dough into quarters and cut each quarter into 16 pieces. Roll the pieces into 1-inch balls and place them a generous 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets. If you prefer not to bake all the cookies at once, they can be frozen for later baking. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 9 minutes for chewy cookies or for 11 to 13 minutes for crisp ones. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Makes 60 to 65 cookies.

Tester's note: Candied orange peel is with the fruitcake-making supplies in the grocery store (at our store, it was in the produce aisle).

Tested by Rebecca Sodergren "The Christmas Cookie Book,"
by Judy Knipe and Barbara Marks

Thursday, December 07, 2000

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