Adding orange flavor to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Am making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and have a hankering for adding a little essence of orange to them. Something subtle but noticeable.

I have three options in my pantry: subbing orange extract for the vanilla extract inthe recipe, adding some dried orange rind (supermarket brand) or adding zest from a clementine (no oranges on hand).

Which one (or combo) do you think would work best, and in what amount(s)? The cookie recipe is your basic tollhouse with semisweet choc.

Thanks in advance!

  • Posted by: TobiT
  • December 24, 2013


ChefJune December 27, 2013
I've been adding fresh orange zest to chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies for decades now. In fact, it's my signature dessert! I have subbed orange oil in a pinch and don't like it. even in small doses, it's not the flavor I'm looking for. Never tried the other options you mentioned.
luvcookbooks December 26, 2013
Hey, I just made the same flavor combination while questing for a chewy crisp choc chip cookie! Used a microplaned zested rind of one orange for a recipe with 2 c choc chips and 1 c chopped nuts (no oatmeal but maybe I should try?). The dough was great but the moisture from the rind, I think, upset the balance of wet and dry. Will continue the quest.
LeBec F. December 26, 2013
MEG, no insult intended but I seriously do not think that orange zest could alter the balance of dry and moist. first of all, it is a tiny amount; second, it is not a liquid nor is it really dry like flour; and thirdly, I add orange zest (lots more) and minced candied orange rind to many many kinds of cookies, with no resulting imbalance.(I am a citrus nut.) BTW, my fav CC cookie is the Mocha Choc Chip cookies in Baking w/ Julia- from Boston's own Rick Katz. I add orange to them but the basic recipe includes chopped apricots, which are not taste-detectable, but moist/chewy detectable. if you want the recipe, email me and i'll send to you.
TobiT December 25, 2013
Thanks all! I ended up adding the zest of 1 clementine to the dough (before I added the chips and oatmeal, to make sure the delicate microplaned zesties got incorporated well and didn't get clumped with the chips or oats).
They turned out really well - a slightly more festive choc chip cookie for the season. I personally could have used a bit more orangey flavor, but the kids thought it was the right amount.
LE bec fin, I will hunt down the dried peel and toss it (it is probably 15 years old anyway)
Boulangere, I'm thrilled to have inspired you a tiny bit, as your wonderful posts have long inspired and educated me!
First answerer (whose name escapes me and I can't pull up while I'm in answer mode), I encourage you to try this combo - it may help win you over to the world of choc+orange! Toothsome and fragrant!
LeBec F. December 25, 2013
Just remember to keep your clementine whole for zesting. it's not very easy to zest a cut orange. since a clementine is pretty small, i bet you'll want to use the whole fruit's zest. BTW, just throw out that dry zest;no good for nuttin'.

Voted the Best Reply!

boulangere December 24, 2013
Orange and chocolate are a wonderful combination! I have to admit that I hadn't thought to combine them with oatmeal cookies, but I think it's an idea well worth exploring come the new year. Depending upon the size of your batch, start with the zest of half an orange grated into your dough via a fine microplane. Mix it in, then taste the dough (you know you want to). Let it linger on her palate. Grate in some more if you feel it is needed. Thanks for a lovely suggestion!
Stephanie B. December 24, 2013
I would try adding the fresh zest to get just a hint of fresh, vibrant orange. I'm not a huge fan of citrus and chocolate so I would probably only add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon, but you can add more if you'd like. You can add the zest to taste when you add the chocolate chips. If you're afraid of raw eggs you can taste before that and get a sense of how powerful it is and adjust from there.
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