Their special texture means that this is one candy best served straight from the refrigerator, or even the freezer! If you want to make them last longer at room temperature, consider dipping the individual squares in chocolate.
- 9 oz (2 sticks plus 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened good-quality cocoa powder
- 4 oz (about 2/3 cup chopped) bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice or orange liqueur
- 11 oz all-butter shortbread cookies (about 3 cups chopped)
- 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel (or other dried fruit)
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (or other nuts)
1. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Gently melt the bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl and set it aside to cool slightly. Chop or crumble the shortbread cookies in a separate bowl and set aside. The cookie pieces should be anywhere from pea-sized to dime-sized pieces.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is smooth and free of lumps. Alternately, you can use a hand mixer in a large bowl.
4. Add the condensed milk and the melted chocolate, and mix until the milk and chocolate are incorporated into the butter.
5. Add the cocoa powder to the mixing bowl and mix until the powder is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again until everything is homogenous.
6. In a separate bowl, pour the orange juice or orange liqueur over the chopped cookies and toss to coat. Add the cookies, chopped candied peel, and chopped toasted hazelnuts to the mixing bowl, and stir until everything is mixed into the chocolate.
7. Spoon the candy mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Place the candy in the freezer until it hardens and sets, about 1 hour.
8. Once hard, remove the pan from the freezer and take the candy from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut the candy into small 1-inch squares to serve, washing the knife with hot water if it starts to get too messy.
9. Chocolate-Orange Mousse Squares have a lovely light, moussey texture, and are best served chilled, from the refrigerator or even the freezer. They can be a bit messy so I recommend serving them in candy cups to make handling easier. Chocolate-Orange Mousse Squares can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or well-wrapped in the freezer for up to two months.