Slice and Bake Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies

Tender, buttery, orange-flavored shortbread dipped in creamy, decadent dark chocolate. Easy to make and perfect for cookie trays or gifting!

Chocolate orange cookies stacked on white platter

Why You’ll Love These

Chocolate orange shortbread cookies melt in your mouth with their classic holiday flavor.

If you are a fan of Terry’s Chocolate Orange balls, you will love the cookies!

They are easy slice-and-bake shortbread cookies.

Want some more Christmas recipes? Try our eggnog cheesecake with gingersnap crust, peanut butter balls, classic shortbread cookies, Italian sesame cookies, and cut out sugar cookies.

Key Ingredients

  • Shortbread Cookie Dough – Unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt.
  • Flavorings – Fresh orange zest and pure vanilla extract.
  • Chocolate Coating – Dark chocolate melting wafers.
Ingredients needed to make chocolate orange shortbread cookies on a dark surface.

How to Make Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies

Whisk the all-purpose flour and salt together in a medium-size bowl, and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the room temperature unsalted butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Add the orange zest and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.

Sliced orange shortbread cookie dough on parchment lined baking sheet.

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Press the shortbread dough into a ball, and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

Roll the dough into a log about 12″ long and 2″ in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I chill mine overnight. It really helps bring out the orange flavor.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice the dough with a serrated knife into 1/4″ pieces and place about 1″ apart on the baking tray.

Baked orange shortbread cookie dipped into melted chocolate dripping off the excess.

Bake the cookies until firm, about 15-17 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Melt the dark chocolate according to the package instructions. Dip each cookie halfway into the melted chocolate and place it on parchment paper to dry and set.

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies stacked on a white platter.

Store in an air-tight container or wrap these when gift-giving Christmas cookies.

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies stacked on a white platter.

I dare you to eat just one! We failed this challenge in our house, sad but true.

Chocolate orange shortbread cookie emphasizing the orange zest flakes studding the shortbread.

Just look at all that orange zest…absolutely heavenly!

Tips

  • Measure the flour properly. Aerate, spoon, and swoop level.
  • Use good quality butter for shortbread cookies. After all, butter is the prominent flavor!
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough. The butter needs to be set back up, so the cookies don’t spread while baking.
  • Chocolate wafers or chocolate bars melt better than chocolate chips. If you use chocolate bars, chop them up smaller to melt faster.
  • Don’t burn the chocolate! I melt chocolate at 15-second intervals in the microwave so I can keep an eye on the chocolate.
  • Place the chocolate-dipped cookies on a piece of parchment paper for easy removal after the cookies have dried. I just place them back on the prepared pan I baked them on.

Variations

  • Swap out lemon zest for the orange zest.
  • We like to use dark chocolate (bittersweet chocolate), but milk chocolate works just as well.
  • Add some chopped dark chocolate chunks to the cookie dough.
  • Instead of dipping the cookies, you can drizzle the melted chocolate over them.
  • You can roll the orange shortbread cookie dough log into turbinado or granulated sugar before slicing and baking.
  • You can make orange sugar by mixing the sugar with about 2-3 teaspoons of orange zest. You may need two oranges for that much zest. Do this when you refrigerate the dough, so it has time for the flavors to meld. When ready to bake, roll the dough log into the orange sugar by pouring the sugar out onto a large piece of wax paper or on a baking sheet.

FAQs

Can these be made ahead?

Yes, make the orange shortbread dough log, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours.

Can I use orange juice?

Shortbread is low in moisture, making them have a crispy texture when baked. Adding a liquid, such as orange juice, would be more cake-like in texture. The orange zest adds loads of fresh orange flavor!

What defines a shortbread cookie?

A shortbread cookie is classified by its high butter content. Shortbread cookies don’t usually have a leavening agent or contain eggs. They are soft, crumbly cookie that melts in your mouth!

Storing

Let the chocolate completely dry and set up, place them in an airtight container, and store them at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Can I freeze these cookies?

Yes, but I recommend freezing them without the being dipped in chocolate. Chocolate tends to form a white coating when frozen. If you don’t mind that, place them in a freezer-safe container, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Chocolate orange cookies stacked on white platter

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies – Melts in your mouth with their classic holiday flavor. Tender, buttery, orange flavored shortbread dipped in creamy, decadent dark chocolate.
4.43 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, cookies, orange, shortbread
Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 30
Calories: 151kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange zest about 2-3 oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 oz Ghiradelli Dark Melting Wafers or chocolate of your choice

Instructions

  • In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and set aside for later.
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Add the orange zest and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.
    2 tbsp orange zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Reduce the mixer speed to and add the flour, mix until just combined.
  • Press the dough into a ball.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth.
  • Roll the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake until firm 15-17 minutes.
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Melt dark chocolate according to package instructions. Dip each cookie in dark chocolate, allowing excess to drip off and place on parchment paper to dry and set up.
    10 oz Ghiradelli Dark Melting Wafers

Notes

— Use good quality butter for shortbread cookies.
— Don’t burn the chocolate! I melt chocolate at 15-second intervals in the microwave stirring between each interval.
Make Ahead – Make the orange shortbread dough log, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours.
Storing – Let the chocolate completely dry and set up, place them in an airtight container, and store them at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Freezing – I recommend freezing them without the being dipped in chocolate. Chocolate tends to form a white coating when frozen. If you don’t mind that then, place them in a freezer safe container, and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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2 Comments

  1. kust wanted to know that there isn’t any egg needed for this recipe? Won’t the dough crumble?

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