Today is the perfect day to set aside a few minutes to sit down with a hot cup of tea, a good book, and a little treat. Well, I guess I would have to say almost every day is a good day for that! Unfortunately, most of us don’t take much time for ourselves to relax, even just for a short spell. The craziness of life sweeps us up and all of a sudden our day has gone by so quickly, most of it was just a blur.
Keep in mind that these cookies are to be savored. They’re something special. No drive by quickie, grab a cookie and go. Your house will be filled with the spicy scents of warmed oranges, ginger, cinnamon, and rich chocolate. A comforting, come hither, kind of warm breeze. Take some time even if it’s just a few short minutes, to place a couple on a pretty plate, brew yourself a nice cup of tea, grab your favorite book, take a deep breath…and relax.
Clementine & Chocolate Shortbread
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Makes about 28-30 1 1/2 inch cookies.
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Butter, room temp. (Can also use real butter.)
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 tsp. Clementine Peel, finely grated
1/2 tsp. Pure Orange Oil (I buy mine in tiny bottles at Cost Plus World Market.)
1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
Cream butter until light and fluffy. Cream in powdered sugar until completely combined, scraping mixing bowl once or twice.
Grate the clementine peel.
Add the peel, orange oil, ginger, and cinnamon to the butter and sugar mixture. Cream until completely combined, scraping bowl. Slowly add in the flour, mixing until dough is combined and comes together.
Scrape out onto plastic wrap, cover, flatten into a disc, and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
When you’re ready to work the dough, remove it from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for about 20-30 minutes. Place on floured (Gluten Free Mama’s) parchment paper and roll to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Cut with desired cookie cutters. I used a 1 1/2 inch square.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-13 minutes. Edges should be slightly golden. Remove carefully to cooling rack. They are very fragile when they’re hot.
While you allow the cookies to cool completely, start the dipping chocolate.
1 1/4 Cups Miniature Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (Can also use regular.)
1/2 tsp. Orange Oil
Pour chips and orange oil in a small microwavable bowl and melt in 20 second increments, stirring well until completely smooth. If you wait to add the orange oil until after the chocolate is smooth, sometimes it will seize up. It’s best to heat them together.
*Because I’m not giving these cookies as gifts I did not temper the chocolate. Tempering gives the chocolate a shine even after it has set and cooled completely. You can learn how to temper chocolate here.
Carefully dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate allowing the extra to drizzle off. Place on a piece of parchment (I used the same parchment the cookies were baked on).
Allow chocolate to set up before serving.