Go Back

Dark Chocolate Orange Shortbread

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Author Two Peas & Their Pod: Holiday Cooking Cravings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract {I used the juice of 1/4 orange}
  • Decorative sanding sugar optional


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. The best way is to use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together and release the zest essential oils, you’re basically making orange sugar. Once the sugar and zest are combined, set aside. {This sugar would make a great gift all on it’s own.}
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and orange sugar until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and orange extract/juice; mix to combine. Add flour mixture in two additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
  4. Form dough into a rectangle and place between two sheets of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough to 1/4″ thick. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or a Sil-Pat.
  6. Cut out cookie dough using a 2″ cookie cutter. Place on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with decorative sugar if desired.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes until edges begin to crisp. Removed from oven, and allow to cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.