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Hanukkah cookies

December 21, 2005
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Makes 3 dozen

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
1/2 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Sprinkles (for decoration)
1. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until soft. Add the egg and beat until blended.

2. Beat in the vanilla, orange rind and juice, and milk.

3. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour, baking powder, and salt just until combined. The dough will be sticky.

4. On a lightly floured counter, shape the dough into a flat cake. Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.

5. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour if the dough is sticky. Stamp out shapes and transfer them to the baking sheets. Gather the scraps and reroll them. Continue stamping out shapes.

7. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

8. In a large shallow microwave-safe bowl, combine the chips and shortening. Melt at high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stopping every minute to stir the mixture.

9. Line a clean baking sheet or tray with waxed paper. One by one, dip the tops of the cookies into the chocolate, shaking off the excess chocolate. Add the sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet.

10. Let the chocolate set -- for several hours at room temperature or for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Adapted from Bruce Mermelstein

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