Orange and Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate orange shortbread Christmas cookies
Photo by Fred + Elliott Photography

Orange and chocolate are an unexpected but winning combination in desserts. The acidity from the orange matches dark chocolate’s bitter notes, but oranges have enough sweetness to enhance the sugar in the chocolate. This recipe by Ashley Arrington uses rich, buttery shortbread cookies to anchor the two ingredients. Orange zest and liqueur is folded into the batter, and the baked cookies get a generous drizzle of dark chocolate once they cool.


Makes 20-30 cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups roughly chopped dark or milk chocolate*
  1. In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add orange liqueur, zest, and cinnamon, and beat until combined. Add flour and beat just until flour is completely incorporated into butter.
  2. For round cookies: Shape dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour. Cut log into discs about ¼-inch thick, and place about an inch apart on cookie sheet.
  3. For cutout cookies: Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface, cut out desired shape, gathering scraps to re-roll and cut cookies until all dough has been used. Chill on cookie sheet for 30 more minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place each cookie about 1 to 2 inches apart and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are just beginning to set and brown. Let cookies cool slightly on sheet, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Drizzle each cookie with chocolate. Allow the chocolate to cool completely and harden before storing cookies. Chill in the fridge if you are in a rush.

*Arrington prefers Ghirardelli chocolate

  • Recipe By
    Arley Arrington of Charlottesville, Virginia
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