CONTEST WINNER: Orange Chocolate Hearts
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 C. sugar
- 1/2 C. semi sweet chocolate bits
- 1 Tbs. shortening
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. orange (candy making) oil
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 egg
- 2 C. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 Tbs. milk
- Orange Cream Filling:
- 2 Tbs. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 2 drops orange (candy making ) oil
- 2 C. confectioners' (10 X) sugar
- 2-2 1/2 Tbs. half and half creamer
- Chocolate Topping:
- 1/2 C. semi sweet chocolate baking pieces
- 1/2 tsp. shortening
- 3 drops orange (candy-making) oil
In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter and sugar together. Melt 1/2 cup chocolate bits with 1 tablespoon of shortening (in a small microwavable bowl in the microwave or small saucepan over low heat on the stove) and add to the bowl mixture. Mix in the vanilla, orange oil and zest, egg, flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa and milk. Mix until combined. Remove dough from bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake 8-10 minutes. Unwrap dough and roll between 2 pieces of wax paper until about 1/8 -1/4-inch thick. Using a 2-inch heart cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, slide parchment onto wire rack and cool completely.
Prepare orange cream filling by combining the butter, orange zest and oil and 10X sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of cream. Beat at high speed. Add more cream if necessary for a creamy fondant.
To prepare chocolate topping, heat the chocolate as described above with the shortening. Stir and add the orange oil.
To serve: spread 1 bottom heart cookie with orange cream (about 2 teaspoons) and top with a second heart. Place on a wax paper cover surface and either dunk 1 edge of the heart in chocolate and place on the paper or place the sandwich cookie on the paper and swizzle the heart with chocolate using a fork and across motions.
Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen hearts