The creamy milk chocolate, balanced with the sunshine of an orange, is fused with the unmistakable heat of a fresh habanero. Sandwiched or frosted, this cookie scintillates the senses and demands multiple bites.
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 (4.4-ounce) bar high-quality milk chocolate, broken into pieces 1 fresh habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened (2 tablespoons, if you bake all open-face)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (2 cups, open-face), sifted
2-4 tablespoons orange juice (7-8 tablespoons, open-face)
1: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, vanilla and orange juice. Beat until well blended.
2: Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and add to butter mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
3: Form dough into a log (1 inch in diameter) and wrap in parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.
4: Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice logs into ⅛-inch-thick rounds and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Let sit for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
5: Melt chocolate bar in a double boiler (or microwave in a separate bowl, in 30-second intervals, typically 3-4 times), gently and stirring often. When melted, mix in habanero pepper, orange zest, butter, confectioners’ sugar and orange juice. Stir into a creamy frosting consistency. Sandwich or top cookies with frosting.
Yields about 3 dozen, sandwiched, or 6 dozen, open faced