A common question I get at the farmers’ markets is “What do I do with marmalades?”. Well, other than slathering them on English Muffins or toast, there is quite a range of uses, from sweet to savory. Sandwiching a great marmalade between shortbread or ginger cookies and dipping them in chocolate ranks right up there in my world as one of the best (and easiest) uses in the sweet category.
Marmalade-Filled, Chocolate-Dipped Cookies in a Hurry
I wanted to send an Easter care package to my college-aged kids (* note this was several years ago – I just updated this post), and I didn’t really have time to bake and get to the post office in time. I took some inspiration from an old newspaper clipping I had been carrying around for years which was a recipe for Orange Marmalade Ladyfingers Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate (recipe below).
Since we make jams and marmalades in our commercial farm kitchen, I had marmalades ready at hand. All I needed was some thin cookies (so the marmalade taste would come through) and some dipping chocolate. Not wanting to read about tempering chocolate and which kind of chocolate to use ( in a hurry), I picked up a Ghirardelli Candy Making & Dipping Bar at the store. Voila! These wonderful cookies came together in a snap and they were so good they almost didn’t make it to the kids. My mom loved them and kept saying, “There’s something in these that is so good that I can’t distinguish…what is it?” Hint: it’s the marmalade. Use a good marmalade for the best cookies.
The Quick Version Recipe:
- thin cookies ( I used Anna’s Ginger Thins and Lotus Ginger Bars)
- marmalades (I used our Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade and our Blood-Orange Marmalade)
- dipping chocolate (you could also use chocolate chips or any other chocolate you have on hand)
- Heat the chocolate in a microwave or over a double burner until soft. Let it cool slightly.
- Spread the marmalade on one side of a cookie and place another cookie on top of it to form sandwich cookie
- Dip in semi-cool chocolate and lay on wax paper to dry.
The Home-made Version with Ladyfingers:
This recipe is from Amy Jermain, a chef in Portland, Oregon. I got the recipe out of the Oregonian newspaper years ago.
Orange Marmalade Ladyfingers Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate
makes 20 cookies
- 3 eggs, separated
- 6 Tbsp sugar (divided)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- about 3/4 cup orange marmalade
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets.
- Beat egg yolks with 3 Tbsp of the sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Then add remaining 3 Tbsp of sugar until they again hold their peaks.
- Fold flour, salt and vanilla into the egg yolk mixture. Then careful fold in egg white mixture.
- Use a pastry bag with a large round tip to form the batter into “finger”-like cookies, about 3″ long, or use the back of a spoon to make 3-inch circles. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until edges begin to brown. Let cool completely. If making ahead, store with wax paper between layers.
- Spread your favorite marmalade on one cookie and top with another cookie. Repeat using remaining cookies.
- Place chocolate in a double boiler, or in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Very careful melt the chocolate until smooth and let cool to a manageable temperature (the chocolate will begin to solidify a little). Dip half of each marmalade cookie into chocolate. Place on wax paper until chocolate sets. Store tightly covered at room temperature.
I think I better look Amy Jermain up and see where she is today. My quick version of marmalade-filled, chocolate-dipped cookies, inspired by her home-made version was excellent and I thank her for the inspiration!
Tip for Quality Cookies, even in a hurry:
Please use good marmalades. Some of the grocery store brands are way too sweet without much citrus.