Orangeburst Cookie Bars

Orangeburst Cookie Bars

Orangeburst Cookie Bars

When I was growing up there were two kinds of oranges, eating oranges from California, and juice oranges from Florida.  Now when I survey the display of citrus fruits in the market, the variety of oranges is mind-boggling.  So each week when I grocery shop, I buy a different kind of orange, just so I can try them all and learn the differences between them.

My last shopping trip resulted in my bringing home Blood Oranges.  The color of the flesh of these oranges is deep red/maroon and the juice is dark pink.  The flavor is hard to describe, but seems almost to have a cranberry flavor mixed with the orange.    Besides simply eating them, I wanted to capture that flavor in something baked.  So I turned to this recipe for cookie bars that uses orange juice and zest in the  filling that is baked on a sugar cookie crust.  The juice from the Blood oranges gave the filling a soft pink color that is quite attractive, and the flavor is intense.

Blood orange juice made my filling a pink color.

Blood orange juice made my filling a pink color.

I really liked the texture of these bars;  the filling is soft and chewy while the base is firm sugar cookie.  A nice contrast.  Chopped hazelnuts provide some crunch and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar is all that’s needed to get them ready for serving.

Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.

Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.

On a personal note:  I found these bars to be a little too sweet.  In making them again, I would use less sugar because there is sweetness in the cookie base, plus corn syrup and white sugar in the filling.  My feeling is that you could reduce the sugar by half and thereby let the orange flavor become even more prominent.

ORANGEBURST COOKIE BARS

The convience of sugar cookie dough makes an easy crust.

The convenience of sugar cookie dough makes an easy crust.

Yield:    about 24 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped (almonds are a good substitute)
  • 1/2 cup sugar ( you could use as little as 1/4 cup)
  • 5 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2-3 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1-3 Tbsp. powdered sugar for garnish

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly spray a 13×9-inch pan.

2.  Cut cookie dough into 1/2-inch slices.   Line button of pan with the cookie slices, and using fingers press together and flatten evenly to form a bottom crust.

Press sliced cookie dough into pan to form a crust.

Press sliced cookie dough into pan to form a crust.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the nuts, and press into the dough.   Bake 12 – 15 minutes until dough is puffed.

Sprinkle on some nuts and press into the dough.

Sprinkle on some nuts and press into the dough.

3.  Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mix sugar and flour.  With a whisk mix in the corn syrup and remaining ingredients (except powdered sugar).  Stir in remaining 1/4 cup nuts.

4.  Carefully pour the filling over the partially baked crust.

Pour the orange mixture onto the partially baked crust.

Pour the orange mixture onto the partially baked crust.

5.  Return to oven and bake 18 – 23 minutes till edges are brown and filling is set.

After baking the bars.

After baking the bars.

Cool completely on a wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars.   Makes 24 bars.

Delightfully chewy.

Delightfully chewy.

IMG_0176

SOURCE:  Pillsbury Christmas, 2011

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5 responses

  1. Hi Carolyn, You mentioned they seem too sweet, so what if, instead of corn syrup (sorry, but BLECK!) you used 2TBSP of honey (for those with access, orange blossom honey might enhance the citrus notes: ) but retain the original amount of sugar? I think I might try substituting the white sugar with brown for more chew…

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    • Thanks for both those suggestions. I had thought about replacing the corn syrup with honey, or agave syrup, but didn’t have either on hand, so that’s why I adjusted the sugar. Should have mentioned that as a possibility, though.

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      • Hey, no worries! Bees literally came with the farmhouse: ) so honey is something we’ve always had handy (and, you might say that I’m a little prejudiced; )

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  2. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re
    working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon
    but I’m having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    Like

    • I don’t know anything about the other blog platforms you mention, but I’ve been with WordPress for 2+ years and I’m satisfied with the service they provide. My blog layout is based on one of the their (free) standard themes. Thanks for your interest.

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