Grapefruit & Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
A bright blue and gold morning is slowly covered, smothered, hidden away by low hanging puffy grey clouds. Overexposed white rays pouring in through open windows fade away into cloudy day darkness. The fresh, odd smell of metal and electricity fills the darkening air, signaling the approach of a storm.
I slip a pair of flip flops on and hurry out into the light mist. Shears hang in one hand as I examine a newly blossoming and fruiting orange tree in my backyard. I pick my favorites, make a couple snips and retreat back to the house as the heavy clouds begin to send waves of cold rain drops to the ground.
I kick off the water logged flip flops once under the safety of my porch and carry my orange finds into the kitchen. The last of the light seeping into the house disappears behind a dark cloud and is replaced with the glowing warm light of a preheating oven. I find a grapefruit hiding in my citrus bowl and decide to experiment with my favorite cookie recipes.
Butter and sugar meld together into a fluffy, light yellow base as my mixer whirs to life. I let it ferociously stir in egg and vanilla and watch as the dark of the vanilla swirls about the bowl before it quickly dissolves into the fledgling batter. Looking for a bit of tart warmth, I zest some grapefruit and orange into the batter. Wanting the idiosyncratic sweet and tart layers of grapefruit to shine, I add more grapefruit zest. Specks of pink and orange now dot the sweet batter. I slide my finger along the edge of the bowl to take a taste, my taste buds waking in excitement at the prospect of this recipe.
I pour in the flour slowly as the flat beater dances about the bowl in a ballet of metal on metal precision. I toss in a sprinkling of salt just as the loose, fluffy batter is quickly mixed into a familiar cookie dough. Mounds of chopped dark chocolate is added at the last minute, but only after I taste one or two pieces – I resist the urge to masticate the bitter chocolate, instead letting it slowly dissolve into a silky, long lasting chocolate bliss. A few more tastes of the now complete batter ensure I’m on the right track. A few more tastes of the sweet, tart and chocolatey batter and I lose track of my mission.
I contemplate grabbing a spoon and eating the batter as is but I resist and remember what I set out to do. Scoops of dough finally make their way to the cookie sheet and before I know it the beautiful scent of baking cookies, filled with hints of citrus, caramelizing sugar and melting dark chocolate, waft through the dark house. Family come out of the woodwork, each now pawing at the oven.
A cool, wet day is forgotten and replaced with bites of delicious citrusy chocolate cookies shared with energetic bodies stuck indoors. A plate stacked high with the fresh from the oven cookies are soon empty, filled only with crumbs. A rainy day guilty pleasure brings a smile to my sweet-tooth laden face. I watch as rain dances about on window seals, as clouds swirl and toss in the sky, and as bored faces wonder when blue sky will be back; I find solace in knowing there is another plate of cookies waiting for us in the kitchen.
Grapefruit & Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe yields 2 to 3 dozen cookies.
Stand mixer or a bowl and spoon
Lined baking sheets
4 ounces butter
3 ounces brown sugar
3 ounces granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
6 1/2 ounces flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for sprinkling
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1.Preheat an oven to 375°F.
2. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg, vanilla and zests and mix until incorporated.
4. Add the flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until the dough forms.
5. Add the dark chocolate and mix until evenly incorporated.
6. Evenly spoon the dough onto the lined baking sheets. Sprinkle extra kosher salt on top of the cookie dough to your taste (don’t overdo it as there is already salt in the cookies.)
7. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack.