Chocolate-Dipped Trail Bites
- In a food processor process half the sugar and the orange peel. Cover and process until sugar is colored and very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add dried and fresh cranberries and chocolate pieces. Pulse until chopped moderately fine but not pureed. (Chocolate bits should be in 1/8-inch or smaller or dough will be hard to slice.)
- In a large bowl beat butter, oil, remaining sugar, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on low speed until evenly blended. Beat in half the flour and the baking soda until evenly incorporated. Add orange-sugar mixture and orange juice concentrate stirring vigorously until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in remaining flour until evenly incorporated. If dough is slightly dry or crumbly, gradually knead in 1 to 2 teaspoons more orange juice concentrate until cohesive. Let stand about 10 minutes, or until soft but not sticky.
- Divide dough in half; place each on a 12-inch square of plastic wrap. With lightly oiled hands, use plastic to shape each into an evenly thick 11-inch log. Roll each log in plastic wrap; twist end to close. Freeze at least 1 hour before slicing.
- Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment; set aside.
- Working with one dough portion (keep the other frozen) cut into slices a little more than 1/4 inch thick. Place slices about 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, return to freezer until firm. Repeat with second portion.
- Bake one baking sheet at a time for 7 minutes. Rotate from front to back; bake 4 to 6 minutes more or until cookies are just beginning to brown (watch carefullythey brown rapidly near the end of baking). Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool 3 minutes to firm up. Using a wide spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely. Dip in Melted Chocolate, and if desired, sprinkle with sea salt or top with quick candied orange slices.*
From the Test Kitchen
Store at room temperature up to 3 days.
Freeze up to 1 month.
*For a bright citrus spark, top cookies with quick-candied orange or clementine slices: Brush slices with melted orange marmalade and let stand on parchment paper to cool.
- Place chocolate pieces in two separate small microwave-safe bowls. Add 2 teaspoons shortening to each. Microwave each on 50 percent power (medium) 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring twice. Dip cookies partially or completely in milk or semisweet chocolate; transfer to wire rack to cool.
Nutrition Facts (Chocolate-Dipped Trail Bites)
- Per serving:
- 62 kcal cal.,
- 3 g fat
- (1 g sat. fat,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 1 g monounsatured fat),
- 4 mg chol.,
- 15 mg sodium,
- 9 g carb.,
- 0 g fiber,
- 4 g sugar,
- 1 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet