Friday, May 8, 2015

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I think I speak for most of us working folk when I say that some days, you really, really need that mid-morning break from the daily grind. Whether it's a few minutes for sheer caffeination (hello, early morning meetings, drop offs or deadlines) or a chance to embrace the staff room as a makeshift urban oasis, the chance to step away from the must do world we live in is definitely something to savour. Since I work both at home and "at work" (i.e. the school), I'm fortunate enough to find myself in two locations with break areas filled with not only a chance to decompress from the requirements of working, but usually tasty treats too! Obviously, being who I am, I contribute my fair share of the goodies - and whenever I find myself indebted to a coworker for covering part of a shift or going out of their way to help me with the daily chores of classroom maintenance, I try to give a little bit of extra "oomph" to my gratitude with a personalized gift from the kitchen. 

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These vegan and wholegrain cookies were one such gift for one of many colleagues who is constantly helping me out - crispy-shelled, just-big-enough drops have a tender interior redolent of the exotic sweet tang of fresh blood orange. To counter the typical saccharine nature of the classic chocolate chipper, I opted to use whole wheat pastry flour as well as a mix of bittersweet chocolate chunks and mini chips, not only diversifying the texture but adding a bit of "not your mama's cookies" flair to the works. From experience, I knew that popping the dough into the fridge for an hour or two would make for more even-crumbed, better-baking cookies with a richer, more blended flavour - a fact which played to my advantage, since it gave me the chance to run errands between mixing and baking!

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Hidden Fruits and Veggies
Makes about 18
2 tbsp canola oil
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Juice and zest of 1 blood orange (or regular orange)
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp enriched vanilla rice milk (or your favourite milk alternative)
¼ cup miniature chocolate chips
⅓ cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
  1. In a bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, vanilla, orange juice, and orange zest until well combined.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined, then add the milk to form a soft (but not too moist) dough.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and chunks.
  4. Wrap in plastic and chill 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the sheets about 1 ½” apart.
  7. Bake for 15-16 minutes, until set and golden.
  8. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from baking sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 103.4
Total Fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.3 mg
Total Carbs: 18.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 1.3 g