Along with butter this shortbread recipe uses granulated sugar and all-purpose white flour. Considering that no eggs or leavening agents are present, shortbread cookies are quite easy to make and the coming together of only three ingredients turn out a most delicious cookie!
However, the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder, orange zest and extract take it from basic shortbread to something very unique! Orange zest is not a listed ingredient in this recipe but I couldn’t resist adding that extra orange flavour which comes from the natural orange oils found in the peel.
With a minimal amount of sugar, deep chocolate flavour from the unsweetened cocoa and aromatic essence of orange this cookie needs no embellishment... it speaks for itself!
No need to wait for the holidays to bake these, the snowflake in the center is a seasonal decoration and totally optional!
Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange extract
2 cups flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sift together flour and cocoa.
- In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar and orange extract, add the dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture will look crumbly, use hands to bring dough together.
- Roll dough into a rectangle, cut out with small cookie cutter.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes depending on size of cookies. (don’t over bake)
- Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- If using orange oil instead of extract a couple of drops are sufficient.
- A tablespoon of finely zested orange peel gives maximum flavour but optional.
- At first dough will look quite crumbly. I found the easiest way to make it come together is to remove it from bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap then draw up sides of plastic wrap and push down. Continue doing this until dough comes together and forms a ball.
- The Glad food bag method works really well for rolling out the dough and also makes a good thickness for the cookie.
While on the subject of shortbread...the plain Shortbread Recipe posted in December 2009 makes lovely, large snowflake cookies as well.