Bait & Switch: Citrus Chocolate Chunk Cookies

by Maris Callahan on April 4, 2011

Orange. Cranberry. Two flavors reminiscent of holiday desserts. No, this isn’t a belated April Fool’s Day joke, bear with me for a minute. I first posted about these cookies several URLs ago, when my blog was a mere infant. I started off with a recipe for orange cranberry cookies and before long, the cranberries had been benched in favor of chocolate chunks.

Typically, I like chocolate pure and unadultered, one exception being when the chocolate in question is covered by an artificially colored-and-dyed candy shell. To be more specific, I don’t like chocolate/peanut butter, I can live without chocolate/caramel and chocolate/citrus is as good to me as no chocolate at all.

I thought the orange and cranberry combination would be a nice change from the chocolate chip cookies that, if I do say so myself, I’m quite good at making. But no sooner had I chopped a cup of dried, sweetened cranberries did it occur to me that they would be better served in scones. Or granola. O anything else that didn’t offer chocolate as an alternative.

Within moments, my eyes fell on an orange dark chocolate bar that I’d gotten in a gift set and was waiting to be turned into brownies to bake for a friend’s birthday. Well, I sacrificed the brownies for these cookies and wouldn’t you know, it was well worth the risk: citrus chocolate chunk cookies were born.

Citrus Chocolate Chunk Cookies


1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp grated orange zest
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp vanilla
6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment, silipat or non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and whisk; set aside.

2. In bowl of stand mixer (or a bowl…with a hand mixer), combine butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolk and beat until fully incorporated. Add orange juice, then zest and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.

3. Turn mixer to low speed, add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer, stir in cranberries, and place 1 Tbsp rounds of dough onto cookie sheets.

4. Place cookies in the oven and bake, switching baking sheet positions half way through baking time, for 12-14 minutes (they should not brown). Remove from oven and let cool on pans completely, about 10-15 minutes.

Note: I made my cookies a little bit larger than the recipe calls for and wound up with about a dozen. Since they were fatter, they had to cook longer and wound up a little crispier than I care for. I wound up giving most of the cookies away, but if you like a crispy cookie, these are for you. If you like something a little chewier, you can make them smaller and you’ll have more success than I did.

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon April 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

definitely worth the sacrifice, great combo :)


Three-Cookies April 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Orange + chocolate? This is new to me


Daryl April 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Love this combination!


Dishes of Mrs. Fish April 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Yum! I love chocolate and orange anything, especially those chocolate covered oranges at Christmas. When mine ran out, I made dark chocolate orange scones. Best decision ever. I love these, and can’t wait to make them!


Erica April 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Sounds like a fun switch up! I’m always all for trying a new cookie recipe. And I love using chunks of chocolate in my cookies vs. chips- makes them so much better! Great job


Mary April 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm

The combination is wonderful and your cookies sound otherworldly good. This is my first visit to your site and I’ve spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you feature here and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary


Olga @ MangoTomato April 5, 2011 at 12:24 am

Orange zest and chocolate is an awesome combination! I bet these cookies were great. I always add citrus zest to brownies and people love them.

PS go find the nearest Ethiopian restaurant and try the food!


Ellie@fitforthesoul April 5, 2011 at 1:02 am

oOOoOO can you actually taste a lot of citrus in the cookie? :)


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. April 5, 2011 at 1:40 am

I love this combination! I am going to try these for sure


Reeni April 5, 2011 at 1:43 am

I love the twist on these with the orange flavor! A pleasant surprise for a chocolate chip cookie!


marla April 5, 2011 at 1:54 am

Maris, I love the chocolate & citrus combo. Think I fell in love with it as a kid. It is a sophisticated taste like none other.


Autumn @ Good Eats Girl April 5, 2011 at 2:06 am

Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite flavor combos! These look GREAT!


Liz April 5, 2011 at 3:54 am

If I’m going to eat chocolate, I want it mixed with orange. These sound delicious!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

Sounds like the risk paid off in the most delicious way Maris! :D


Blond Duck April 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

That’s the coolest combination! My girlfriend would love these!


Joanne April 5, 2011 at 11:51 am

“several URLs ago” – you crack me up! Really fine wording my dear.

These babies sound like the perfect use for that chocolate bar…,which I think we can both agree is useless on it’s own. I really should make more chocolate chip cookies. My life feels barren without them.


Laura April 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Sounds delicious! Though I don’t think I will ever be able to understand how someone could do without the chocolate-peanut butter combination, I understand the love of chocolate pure and simple. Citrus and chocolate – such a seemingly unlikely but absolutely delicious combination. Brilliant cookies – I can’t wait to make them!


Rosa April 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Great cookies! That is a wonderful flavor combination.




brandi April 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

those sound delicious! I love orange + chocolate together.


bellini April 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Chocolate and orange always remind me of the holidays and those chocolate oranges I have received in my stocking since I was a little girl.


Faith @ lovelyascharged April 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I dont think theres a better combo than orange + Chocolate…sorry, cranberries, but the chocolate always wins!


Tessa April 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Love this twist on flavor combinations! So creative. But I can’t believe you don’t like chocolate and peanut butter haha ;)


Esther April 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Yummm. This reminds me that it’s been much too long since I made cookies. It also reminds me how delicious chocolate-covered orange peels are and makes me think that these must be like that, but three hundred times better.


Ali Grace April 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

These cookies sound delish! My grandad loved these chocolate orange candy things, and this recipe reminds me of that. I’ll have to try it!! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)


Rachel W. April 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I’d be so pissed if it was my Birthday you were baking for…


Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 April 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

What a great flavor combination! I love when cookies vary a little bit from the norm. It’s a nice change. These look delicious.


molly April 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

I was also late to the chocolate + orange = awesome party, but it turns out that, as parties go, it’s pretty effing great. these look yummy!


Ann April 6, 2011 at 2:11 am

Great cookies. I love citrus and I love adding the zest and the juice to baked goods. Really gives it a fresh taste.


Roz April 6, 2011 at 3:49 am

Orange + chocolate = YUM!!!


Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 6, 2011 at 4:09 am

I love the combo of orange and chocolate, and I know I’d absolutely love these cookies. They look marvelous, Maris!


theUngourmet April 6, 2011 at 5:07 am

Oh I how I love orange and chocolate together. These look fabulous!


Alexis @ There She Goes April 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

I just bought a dark chocolate XOXOX bar with orange peel in it and it is so good! Never would have thought the combo would be good together, since I’m not a huge orange fan, but it is delish!


Jessica April 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Now this is a new one to me. I do orange and chocolate cake, pie and tart but not cookies, I definitely need to try this soon since i consider myself a cookie-holic!

Reply April 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

The combination of flavors here is something right up my alley… I love citrus and chocolate together, especially in a cookie!! Beautiful idea!


Dmarie April 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

my ears always perk up at the mention of chocolate and citrus! thanks!


Amanda April 7, 2011 at 1:09 am

Yum! Citrus+chocolate+cranberries sounds delicious!


Megan April 7, 2011 at 1:34 am

I love the orange/chocolate combo and I bet it’s even better in a cookie!


MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College April 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

Wow these cookies look and sound amazing! I love the idea of chocolate and orange together in a cookie. That has to be the perfect combination!


betty April 7, 2011 at 5:31 am

i love biscuits these look so yummy :)


grace April 7, 2011 at 6:48 am

this is really inspired, maris! i think a little zap of orange would really brighten up a chocolate chip cookie and would be a welcome surprise. good thinking!


pigpigscorner April 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

I’m usually not a huge fan of citrus and choc combo, but in cookies?! hmm I might change my mind!


Little Inbox April 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I like to pair my chocolate cake with orange too. Love the mix of the flavors.


Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Mmmmm… I love this flavor combo! Your cookies look like what I want for breakfast right now. :)


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 8, 2011 at 2:54 am

My hubby loves chocolate with citrus- He’d absolutely love these scrumptious cookies!


Katherine: Unemployed April 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I love the combo of ingredients in this recipe! loving your culinary skills


Aggie April 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm

citrus and chocolate are seriously bff in my book (well, pb&choc is, but citrus is trying to be). There is a chocolate I buy at World Market sometimes and it has orange in it and I just love it. These cookies reminded me of that.


Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen April 13, 2011 at 2:56 am

I LOVE this combination of flavors!! :) I need to make these cookies soon!


NancyC April 15, 2011 at 12:47 am

The chocolate -orange combo sounds great! I like just about any kind of cookie, whether it’s chewy or crispy! :)


Alessa April 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I have ALWAYS loved orange and chocolate flavors together. My grandmother’s home often had “Jaffa” cakes – a sponge cake with orange marmalade topped with dark chocolate. Yum. Can’t wait to try these….


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