Baking Through the Alphabet: M is for Mocha and Orange Sablé Icebox Cookies

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It’s been a while, WordPress.

I don’t even know where to begin. The last time I wrote one of these things was…July. It is now December and almost January. Oops?

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Sorry for neglecting this thing. It’s funny; I didn’t think people would actually notice, but some of my friends kept mentioning, “so what about the alphabet?” “what letter are you on now?” “Are you still baking?” To answer those questions, 1) the alphabet is still to be continued, I will finish eventually 2) I’m doing the letter M now; it’s been five months 3) Yes! I am still baking.

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So, within the past five months, I’ve:

  • moved to a new place with new roommates! You’ll meet them on here eventually. You already know one of them, though–Sam, who is part of a catering company called Lettuce 24. Shameless plug. OH, I also lived with a broken oven at the new place for about 2 months. It wasn’t super brutal, but it made me really restless.
  • joined membership at my new church! It’s great. :)) I am a blessed soul.
  • turned 21! It’s a big deal for the “About” section, because I am now a a “21-year old baker” instead of a “20-year-old student.” Heh, heh, I need to update that part, too.
  • learned to enjoy the deliciousness of tea. About time…
  • watched 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Lie to Me, Gone Girl, Hunger Games, Big Hero 6, and countless reruns of Friends and The Office. Woops, I clearly have too much time on my hands…

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  • started two new books: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, which is a heavy book for me, and Now, That’s a Good Question! by R.C. Sproul. It’s been about three months, and I haven’t finished either book, but they’re good, I promise!
  • had way too many goodbye parties for friends who moved back home to NorCal. I miss you all; come visit soon!
  • learned so much more about God’s faithfulness, and it’s crazy! He has been so faithful in all my post-grad endeavors. People weren’t kidding when they said post-grad was hard, and I know I have it easy here. It’s funny, because when you’re in school, all you worry and think about is school. Your prayer requests at small groups are just centered around classes, grades, exams, etc…but once school is out of the picture, everything else floats to the top. Responsibilities, work, friendships/relationships, identity, contentment–everything that was blinded by the wordliness of grades and GPAs while in school–show up. Post-grad life is hard, and I’m not going to go into details here, but God. is. so. GOOD…and He loves us more than we’ll ever know.

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Blurbs over; cookies. I actually attempted this letter back in July, and I totally failed. I tried making these matcha rolls, but then I sliced the dough incorrectly and ended up with these weird, bitter-tasting rolls instead of a beautiful, marbled matcha dough. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty or yummy.

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I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this recipe, but it was interesting. I’ve never made icebox cookies before, and I learned something–they’re easy to make, but they take a lot of refrigeration time. Note to self: read the instructions all the way through before doing starting. I totally underestimated the amount of time the dough needed to sit, so just a heads up: give this recipe at least 3 hours in the fridge.

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Mocha and Orange Sablé Icebox Cookies
From Port and Fin

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Espresso Dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans (I used ground coffee)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the Orange Sablé Dough:
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons orange zest (~ 3 oranges)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon/orange juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1. For the chocolate espresso dough: In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and ground espresso (or ground coffee beans). In another bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture, then mix in the chopped walnuts. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge.

2. For the orange sablé dough: Mix together the almond meal and powdered sugar in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the butter and zest until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the almond mixture. Add the egg and lemon/orange juice, and mix to combine. Stir in the flour. Add the cranberries, and mix until just combined.

3. Line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap. Press the orange sablé dough into the bottom of the lined pan, and smooth the top as flat as possible. Cover the top with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for another hour.

4. Bring the chocolate espresso dough to room temperature. Remove the plastic from the top of the orange dough, and press the chocolate dough on top. Smooth the top as flat as possible while pressing it into the pan. Cover the top with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

5. Remove the dough block from the square pan, and take off the plastic wrap from the top and bottom. Cut the dough into 2″x8″ bricks. If you don’t want to use up all the bricks now, you can freeze the unused blocks and save them for later.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Slice each brick log into 1/4 inch thick slices, and lay the slices on the lined baking sheets, at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake until firm, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

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Until Next Time,

Soli deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking! (And HAPPY NEW YEAR!)

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