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Chocolate-Coated Orange Cookies

These delicate cookies can be cut into any shape you like. To speed the assembly, omit the chocolate coating and sprinkle the cookies with sugar before baking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted
      butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate,
      chopped

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and salt. Process briefly until well mixed. Add the butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture resembles fine meal. Then process continuously until moist clumps form.

Transfer the mixture to a large sheet of waxed paper and, using your hands, gather the clumps together into a flat disk. Top with a second sheet of waxed paper. Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1/2 inch apart. Gather up the scraps, pat into a disk and roll out again. Cut out additional cookies.

Bake until the cookies are just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes, switching the pans and rotating a half turn halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.

Place the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl. Place over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate, covering them halfway. Arrange the cookies in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the chocolate sets. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes about 24 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, After Dinner, by Kristine Kidd (Time-Life Books, 1998).