Three weeks ago I began the last semester of my undergraduate degree at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. As I complete my degree in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies while on a student exchange, I’m taking two English Lit courses (Literary Animals, Monsters and Machines, as well as Gothic Cultures) and two Women’s Studies courses (Art, Gender, Sexuality and the Body, as well as Sex, Human Rights and Justice). Last Thursday evening, I attended a free speaker’s panel on human trafficking at uni, which was organised by a fellow student from the fascinating human rights course I’m taking. The contributors featured on the panel were professors, lawyers and activists who brought diverse perspectives to the discussion. The topic of slavery can seem overwhelming and foreign to our day to day lives. Being a conscious consumer is a way for us to get involved in tackling this issue. Fair trade was mentioned to help end the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world today.
Baking and human rights are two of my passions, and fair trade intertwines them. One of my tattoos is actually based on this concept! Chocolate, bananas, sugar, coffee… When we purchase the ingredients we bake with, we are making a small decision that has a big impact. For more information on fair trade, please check out this website.
I’ve already posted Michael Smith’s delicious orange chocolate cookies a while ago, but I couldn’t resist baking a batch of these orange and chocolate olive oil cookies after seeing Valerie‘s gorgeous photos. Her cookies looked so luscious and chunky!
To enhance the orange flavour that pairs so well with chocolate, I used Camino‘s fair trade orange chocolate. The orange zest adds depth to the cookie, and the sea salt is just the perfect finishing touch to round out the flavours.
Recipe Source: Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine
Yields 16-18 cookies
zest of 1 medium orange, finely grated
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups orange chocolate, coarsely chopped
Sea salt for garnish
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the sugar and orange zest together until moist and aromatic. Alternatively, you can rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips.
2) In a separate bowl, mix the hot water with the baking soda until dissolved. Set aside.
3) Pour the olive oil into the bowl of the stand mixer, beating on medium-high speed until combined.
4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
5) Add the flour, cocoa and salt, beating on low speed until the dough thickens.
6) Add the baking soda mixture and the vanilla, beating on medium-high speed until combined.
7) Use a spatula to stir the chocolate chunks into the batter.
8) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
9) Preheat the oven to 350F.
10) Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
11) Scoop the batter into dough balls and set them on the parchment paper. This dough is a bit messy.
12) Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt.
13) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set.
14) Transfer the baking sheets from the oven to a wire rack and let cool completely before transferring cookies to a serving plate.