*This post contains affiliate links — as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure for details*.
Last Updated on February 23, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
Today we’re making a classic slice-and-bake shortbread cookie recipe, but with a special twist! These chocolate orange shortbread cookies are so buttery, so soft yet crumbly, and so addictive! The bittersweet chocolate dotted throughout the shortbread base mingled with bright bits of orange zest is the perfect combination!
Growing up, the one treat that was ever-present throughout the holidays and in our stockings on Christmas morning were those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges — the ones that you whack to break apart. Do you remember those? To this day, I try to get my hands on one of them around the holidays. Once I taste that rich, creamy chocolate and zesty citrus, then it really feels like Christmas. And I get the same feeling from these chocolate orange shortbread cookies!
And the best part about these chocolate orange shortbread cookies is how easy they are! They’re made from only a few ingredients, and the slice and bake method ensures cookies that keep their shape.
Here’s how it works: Once you’ve mixed up the quick shortbread dough, you’ll bring it together on a floured surface and roll it tightly into two cylinder shapes. Then just wrap your dough rolls in plastic wrap and chill. When it’s time to bake, slice your chilled dough into cookies and you’re ready to bake! It’s really that easy!
I also find that making the dough ahead of time helps the flavors to blend really well, making the final chocolate orange shortbread cookies taste even better! Either way, these cookies are a guaranteed hit!
- all-purpose flour – the flour measurement is pretty high in this chocolate orange shortbread recipe, as in many shortbread recipes, so it’s important to measure your flour accurately. I highly recommend weighing your flour (and other dry ingredients) with a kitchen scale — the flour in this recipe measures out to 416 grams, and you’ll need a little extra to bring your dough together to chill it. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can use the spoon and level method to measure your flour more accurately.
- powdered sugar – similar to the flour, I’d definitely recommend weighing out 144 grams by weight, or at least using the spoon and level method.
- salted butter – your butter should be room temperature, soft but overly soft or greasy. It should still be cool to the touch.
- bittersweet baking chocolate – I used a Ghirardelli bittersweet baking bar. Chop your chocolate finely enough that it can be evenly distributed in the cookies.
- orange zest – this is my favorite part of this chocolate orange shortbread recipe! it adds so much bright orange flavor, and you can see the little bits of orange zest in the cookies and they add fun orange color.
- orange and vanilla extract – together, these create a great rich creamy orange flavor for the base of these chocolate orange shortbread cookies.
Tips and F.A.Q.
Sugar cookies like these Cutout Christmas Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles are usually made with eggs, and different ratios of ingredients than shortbread cookies. The resulting cookie is not as crumbly or buttery as these chocolate orange shortbread cookies.
Absolutely! They freeze very well — just let them cool completely, then place them in an airtight container to freeze for up to two months. Let them thaw, still in the container, at room temperature before serving.
Well it’s certainly subjective, but I definitely think they do! I’ve combined the two in my No-Bake Cannoli Tart and my Orange Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins and I love how they complement each other! Dark chocolate especially give a deep warmth that offsets the brightness of the orange flavor. If you’re not familiar with this flavor combination, what better chancee to give it a try than with these chocolate orange shortbread cookies?
If you’re a fan of these chocolate orange shortbread cookies, definitely check out my slice and bake Christmas cookies — they’re a buttery shortbread cookie made with the same slice-and-bake method as these, dotted with tart dried cranberries and dipped in creamy white chocolate! They’re incredible and perfect anytime of year!
Or for more chocolate and orange flavors, try my Orange Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins or my No-Bake Cannoli Tart. They’re both full of bright orange zest and deep dark chocolate, and do a great job of highlighting one of my favorite flavor combinations!
Equipment you may need
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
- Stir in orange and vanilla extracts.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, orange zest, and chocolate and mix well.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix with a hand mixer or paddle attachment of a stand mixer until dough begins to come together.
- Divide dough in half. Dust surface with flour and, with floured hands, roll dough into two cylinders, about 1 ½ -2 inch in diameter.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Dough can be made up and chilled to 3 days in advance.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
- Unwrap chilled dough logs. Using a serrated knife, cut log into ½-inch slices.
- Place cookie slices on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to lightly brown around the edges.
- Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
PIN this chocolate orange shortbread cookie recipe for later!
Thanks for checking out this recipe! If you want more like it, SUBSCRIBE BELOW for all my latest updates! PLUS, when you subscribe you’ll get your FREE PRINTABLE Kitchen and Baking Cheat Sheet!