Even though the title of Delia Smith’s book is called Delia’s Cakes, it also includes recipes for lots of different biscuits and cookies. I love baking biscuits (and stuffing them down my gob as fast as I bake them too!). So I had loads of recipes I wanted to choose from to bake for, for the Biscuits chapter as part of my monthly Cooking The Books Challenge.
But, the Chocolate Orange biscuits stood out for me in the end. It was the recipe introduction that did it for me. Delia says “If you like chocolate and orange as a combination, then forget Jaffa Cakes. These are in a completely different class,” How could you forget Jaffa Cakes? All my family love them, especially my fourteen year old son. I love Terry’s Chocolate Oranges too, so it’s a win win combination. I just had to bake these even though they weren’t going to be eaten by us, they were off down to the neighbouring village’s Spring Festival to be served in the cafe with the coffee and teas in the school! I hoped temptation wouldn’t get the better of me!
A week last Saturday, the afternoon was beautiful and sunny. My children had gone off into Leeds with friends and my mum had just arrived for the weekend as it was also my son’s birthday. My mum offered to help me in the kitchen. We set to with our baking and enjoyed our relaxing afternoon.
First I had to chop up a 100g bar of plain chocolate into small chunks. Delia says to use chopped dark chocolate but I suppose chocolate chips would be fine. After that I grated the zest of two oranges into a small bowl and squeezed one half of one of the oranges as I needed a tablespoonful of orange juice to add to the mixture.
After that I started on the actual biscuits themselves. I beat spreadable butter and caster sugar together until it became light and creamy, followed by flour and some baking powder. The mixture didn’t need an egg to combine it together as the fluid came from the orange juice. This gave it a nice smell and I was tempted to stick my finger in the mix and lick some dough. I had to restrain myself though.
Once the dough had come together it had to be rolled out. I find this difficult with mixtures containing fruit and chocolate as the cutter edge always seems to be where there’s a giant sultana or chocolate piece that won’t cut. You end up with jagged lumps. After managing to get 2 dozen cookies out of the dough I was pleased and they were put on the baking trays ready to be baked.
After the cookies came out the oven they went onto my cooling rack once I’d given them 5 minutes resting time on the oven tray. The heavenly aroma was just far too tempting. But I knew they weren’t for us!
Once they were cooled down, my mum put the cookies into a spare box for me. We left them overnight ready for the Spring Festival the following day. Unfortunately, my greedy son stole two cookies from the box. He asked if he could have one on the Sunday morning. I said no as they were for the Spring Festival but he helped himself anyway when I went upstairs. He thinks I can’t count and I wouldn’t miss them. I went ballistic! Thank heavens they hadn’t been for a special order or anything.
I’m not sure how well the cookies sold at the cafe in the Spring Festival. When my mum and I popped in for a cup of tea and cake in the afternoon there were still loads of cakes and biscuits left. I didn’t taste one but they did look fine to me. I will definitely bake them again.
Love Sam xx