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.

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SOURCE:  Pillsbury Christmas, 2011

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Orange-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Orange-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Orange-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Sweet sugary oranges and tangerines, bittersweet grapefruit, tangy lemons, zingy limes:  These juicy fragrant fruits are at their best at this time of year, just when you need their bright flavors the most.  They add so much to simple salads, roasted meats and dreamy desserts.

For those reasons and more I love to incorporate citrus fruits into my cooking.  In today’s recipe I will be using oranges to enhance the umami flavor of pork chops.  The orange is used in two forms, the juice supplies liquid and some sweetness for the sauce, while orange marmalade provides pectin to give the glaze a syrupy body and balances out the sweetness of the orange juice with a touch of bitterness that is very pleasant.  This is a new recipe that I was trying out, and found that it was quite simple to make and we both loved it.  I know I will be making this again soon while all this bright citrus is so plentiful.

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ORANGE-MUSTARD GLAZED PORK CHOPS

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:IMG_6191

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
  • 2 Tbsp. orange marmalade
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (1-inch thick)
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Combine orange juice, marmalade, and mustard in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until syrupy.

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3.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Add to pan;  cook 5 minutes or until browned.  Turn pork over; add rosemary and onion to pan.  Pour juice mixture over pork; bake at 425*F for 10-15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140*.  Place rosemary and onion on a platter.  Return skillet to medium-high heat; cook about 4 minutes till liquid is syrupy.  Add pork to platter, drizzle with sauce.

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The colors of this dish were so attractive that I served it directly from the skillet it was cooked in.

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SOURCE:   COOKING LIGHT