Chocolate-Dipped Trail Bites

Chocolate-Dipped Trail Bites
Prep Time:
45 mins
Freeze Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
11 mins
Cool Time:
13 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
60 cookies


  • cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel

  • 1 ¼ cup dried sweetened cranberries

  • ½ cup fresh (or partly thawed, frozen) cranberries

  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate pieces

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

  • cup corn oil, canola oil, or other flavorless vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose white flour

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, thawed

  • 1 recipe Melted Chocolate

  • Sea salt (optional)

Melted Chocolate

  • 1 cup milk chocolate pieces

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

  • 4 teaspoon shortening


  1. 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.)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment; set aside.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 carefully--they 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.*

Melted Chocolate

  1. 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.

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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

62 Calories
3g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 60
Calories 62
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1.2mg 6%
Iron 0.2mg 1%
Potassium 12mg 0%
Folate, total 12.1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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