Looking to bake crunchy and crumbly cookies with a hint of orange? Try my simple yet powerful orange shortbread cookies recipe. These cookies are a perfect match with a cup of tea or coffee. If you like cookies you'll love my Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies, Butter Pecan Cookies, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies and Matcha Cookies recipes as well.
I love incorporating fruits in my bakes and orange is always there on the top of the list. Today, I am sharing one such simple yet very powerful recipe of slice-to-bake shortbread cookies that are infused with – guess what? Oranges!
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- Loaded with Tangy Orange Flavor: These cookies are tangy and have bright orangish flavor.
- Easy to Bake Cookies: With just a few simple instructions you can bake these cookies easily.
- Serve with Tea or Coffee: These cookies combine best with a cup of tea or coffee.
- Texture: The cookies are crunchy and just melt-in-the-mouth.
Shortbread Cookies – 3:2:1 Ratio
The traditional shortbread cookies were first baked in Scotland in the 16th century. These cookies had just three ingredients - flour, butter and sugar. The ratio for the shortbread cookies called for three parts of flour, two parts of butter and one part of sugar.
There is no leavening agent used in the shortbread cookies.
Orange in Shortbread Cookies Dough
The first time I tried this recipe I was a bit skeptical about the result and worried if I was ruining the batch of my favorite shortbread cookies? I am so glad that I tried the combination.
Orange has a tangy flavor and it is rubbed with sugar which helps to infuse the orange oils in the sugar giving an absolutely amazing orange flavor.
While I love these shortbread cookies as-is, there are some variations that work perfectly to further enhance the taste.
- Orange Oil: To get more intensive orange flavor add a few drops of orange oil to the dough.
- Lemon Glaze: I like to dip these cookies in simple lemon glaze, which adds to the citrusy flavor of these cookies. You can see how I dipped the Earl Grey Cookies in Lemon Glaze.
- Chocolate Ganache: You can also coat chocolate ganache on these cookies. They give a lovely flavor. If you would like you can add the chocolate chips in the recipe as well. Just add ½ cup chocolate chips to the batter.
- All-Purpose Flour: is the main ingredient of the cookies. Always weigh the flour using a digital scale to be precise.
- Butter: use unsalted and high-quality butter in this recipe.
- Castor Sugar: is used for sweetness in the recipe.
- Cardamom Powder: adds a lovely flavor.
- Orange Juice + Zest: is the star of the cookies.
- Salt: enhances the overall flavor.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the butter is pale in color.
2. Add in the orange zest, orange juice and cardamom powder and beat again.
3. Add the flour in the butter mixture.
4. Using an electric mixer beat until the texture is crumbly.
5. Using the hands work through the crumbly mixture until it forms the shape of a soft dough.
6. Form one log of 12'' in length and 3'' in diameter.
7. Place the log in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Take out the log and cut into cookies with a sharp knife.
8. Place the cookies in a baking tray on a silicone sheet and bake until the cookies have light golden edges.
- Electric mixer.
- 2 baking trays.
- Digital scale to weight the ingredients.
- 2 silicone sheets.
Fresh Oranges: Use very fresh oranges for this recipe. You do not want to use oranges that look dry or shriveled.
Do Not Over-mix: Knead the dough only until it comes together. Over-mixing will result in tougher cookies.
Weigh the Ingredients: Weigh the ingredients using a kitchen scale to get accurate ratio of the ingredients. Adding too much flour to the cookies will result in dry cookies and too little flour will not be able to hold the shape.
Chilling the Dough: Keep the logs in the fridge is an important step. Chilling helps to solidify the butter, which then helps prevention of spreading of the cookies in oven. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and you can chill it overnight as well.
Sharp Knife: Use a sharp knife to cut the cookies to get sharply cut cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make it a day ahead and let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. Just cut the slices next day and bake.
Do not skip this step. The chilling allows the dough to solidify the butter and prevents the cookies from spread during baking.
It is achievable. Just use powdered sugar instead of the granulated sugar for a softer texture of the cookies. The granulated sugar gives the crispy texture to the cookies.
Yes – you can easily double or triple the recipe.
In sugar cookies we use eggs to bind the cookies and the leavening agent such as baking soda or baking powder to help with raising of the cookies. No eggs or leavening agent is used in the shortbread cookies. So, sugar cookies are chewy and soft but shortbread cookies are crumbly and melt in the mouth because of the higher ratio of butter to flour.
How to Store
- Place the cookies in an air-tight jar and they will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
- The baked cookies can be kept in the fridge for up to three weeks.
- Place the cut cookies in the freezer for up to three months. They might need a couple of more minutes in the oven while baking.
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Orange Shortbread Cookies
- 2 Baking Trays
- 2 Silicone sheets
- 2 Mixing bowls
- 1 Digital Scale
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 g)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 g)
- ¾ cup castor sugar (170 g)
- 2 tablespoon orange juice (30 ml)
- 2 tablespoon orange zest (12 g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.5 g)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (0.98 g)
- Sift flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Take another large bowl and cream butter and sugar together for at least 3 – 5 minutes,until the butter color is changed to pale.
- Add the orange juice, orange zest and cardamom powder to the butter and beat again.
- Add the flour into the beaten butter and work until a dough is formed.
- If the dough is crumbly, add one tablespoon of water and mix until a dough is formed.
- Make a log about 12 '' in length and 3 '' in diameter.
- Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 300 F.
- Take out the log and cut it into cookies using a sharp knife.
- Place the cookies on a silicone sheet on a baking tray.
- Place the baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until the edges are light golden.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Do Not Over-mix: Knead the dough only until it comes together. Over-mixing will result in tougher cookies. Weigh the Ingredients: Weigh the ingredients using a kitchen scale to get accurate ratio of the ingredients. Adding too much flour to the cookies will result in dry cookies and too little flour will not be able to hold the shape.
Chilling the Dough: Keep the logs in the fridge is an important step. Chilling helps to solidify the butter, which then helps prevention of spreading of the cookies in oven. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and you can chill it overnight as well. Sharp Knife: Use a sharp knife to cut the cookies to get sharply cut cookies.
Naureen Talat Arooba
Orange ShortBread Cookies are my favorite
Its a treat for me
You made my day
Thanks so much Naureen.
Orange shortbread cookies are the yummy treat for all of us.Even kids love them.Thanks Madiha for taking such a great initiative.
Thanks Tabassum 🙂
I made the dough and ended up chilling it for lot longer than recommended. It's been in my fridge for 4 days as I had an unexpected situation and couldn't bake them asap! Is it still safe to bake and eat?
Ange, my apologies, it took me a few days to see your comment. Did you make the cookies?