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Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread. Rolled thicker for a softer bite. Flavored with fresh orange and chocolate. Delicious plain or drizzled with orange icing.

Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Servings 16 cookies, using a 2" cookie cutter


For the cookies:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick salted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • zest from 1 orange

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • freshly squeezed orange juice
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner's sugar.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small pieces, then add it to the flour mixture.
  4. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the flour looks crumbly. This will take a couple of minutes.
  5. Once the butter is cut in and looks sandy, add chocolate chips and the orange zest, tossing to break up the pieces of zest and to distribute it throughout the mixture. Now, use your hand/s to squeeze the powdery mixture together. It will seem too dry to ever hold together, but just keep squeezing handfuls together and flipping the dough over to catch more dry pieces until the mixture comes together in a ball. The warmth of your hands will soften the butter and help it to bind to the flour mixture. It may take 50-60 squeezes. Just keep working it until there are no more dry bits in the bowl and it has come together.
  6. Shape it into a ball, flatten it with your hands, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll dough until it's about 1/4" or 3/8" thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Use a floured cookie cutter to cut out desired shape. Re-roll scraps and continue to cut out cookies until you've used up your dough.
  7. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to have a hint of gold around the edges.
  8. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. For the icing, mix the powdered sugar and vanilla with enough orange juice to get your desired drizzling consistency. Stir in orange zest. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Recipe Notes

*The icing recipe makes just enough for a conservative drizzle on each cookie. If you like more icing, double the recipe. The orange flavor is assertive enough that a little bit of icing should do the trick.

*Baking times can range pretty widely depending upon your oven and how thick or thin you rolled your cookies. I checked my cookies at 8 minutes and then checked them every 2 minutes until they were set and just beginning to get a hint of golden brown on the edges. For softer shortbread, roll to 3/8" thick and bake just until the edges are showing color. For crispier shortbread, roll thinner than 1/4" and bake a few minutes longer.

*I used a 2" cookie cutter and got 16 cookies. You don't have to use cookie cutter. You could shape it and cut it the way I did in the Spiced Shortbread Post. It's faster and easier, if that's your goal :)

*Be careful when zesting that you don't get any of the bitter white pith or that bitterness will carry into your cookies.

*You can vary the amount of orange to your taste. Use more or less in the dough or eliminate the zest from the icing, or eliminate the zest and juice from the icing and make it plain using water or milk for the liquid.

*Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to two months.

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