In HearSway

Our annual cookie contest has officially concluded. Each year you all bring a certain zest for baking that warms our hearts. Our 2023 winner is:

Chocolate-Dipped Orange Cookies

Orange cookies have a certain a-peel — and these were a crowd-pleaser, with a tart citrus taste that set off what we’ll call a chocolate cape. Congrats to Kat S. for winning our annual cookie contest with Chocolate Dipped Orange Cookies, and scoring a $100 gift card to Against the Grain Shoppe in downtown Southern Pines.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 Oranges
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 white sugar, plus 1 tbs white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or other melting chocolate


Preheat Oven to 350. She uses silicon liners on her baking sheets but says parchment paper is also good. Zest and juice 2 oranges.

Cream the butter, 1/4 cup white sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla extract, zest of the 2 oranges and 1/8 cup of the orange juice. Mix until combined. Add baking soda, baking powder and flour. Stir until just combined.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheets. Keep dough balls about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-13 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let cool.

When the cookies are cool, melt your roughly 1 cup of chocolate chips. A small melting pot works great but a double boiler or microwave does the trick too. Dip 1/2 of each cooled cookie into the chocolate and place back on the cookie sheet to set (make sure you are using parchment or silicone this time). If desired, mix the zest of the 3rd orange with 1 tsp white sugar and sprinkle on the not yet hardened chocolate halves of the cookies. Let cool and enjoy.

A very happy Kat Streahle with her gift card.

Second Place: Bourbon Smoked Ginger Cookies

Our judges also raved over these cookies by Rae Anne Kinney, who usually sticks to scones but created this recipe when she needed to use some Farmers Market ginger. Bourbon added some much needed moisture to the mix, she says.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 3/4 C softened salted butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs freshly peeled and finely grated ginger
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 c bourbon
  • Bourbon smoked Demerara sugar for topping

Cream together softened butter and sugars. Mix in egg and grated ginger. Mis the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Incorporate dry mixture into butter mixture (dough will be dry). Add a nice quality bourbon with should bring the dough to cookie consistency. Refrigerate for at least one hour before forming into balls. (Dough can also be frozen at this stage). Press balls halfway into discs and coat the top of each cookie in Bourbon Smoked Demerara Sugar (can be found at Elliotts Provisions). Bake at 375 for 16 minutes. Cool and indulge. Cheers!

Third Place: Old Fashioneds

Oh look, another recipe with bourbon. Thanks Britt Hampton for these salty-sweet cookies dripping in caramel, which our hand model didn’t mind getting sticky for.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 c light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp bourbon, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 c flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c chopped pretzels
  • 10 oz caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 tsp heavy cream
  • 1.5 c chocolate melted

Cream butter and sugar. Add 2 tsp bourbon and vanilla, beat until fluffy. Add egg and mix. Add flour, baking soda and salt, and beat until dough forms a ball. Stir in pretzels.

Divide dough in half. Make two logs (8″ by 2″) and wrap in plastic wrap. Keep cold at least 2 hours.

Cut dough into 1/3″ slices. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Make caramel: Melt caramels and heavy cream on low. Add 1 t bourbon and take off heat

Spread 1-2 tsp caramel over cooled cookies. Drizzle with chocolate and top with salt. 🙂

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search