These chocolate shortbread cookies are flavored with orange zest and sea salt and are so deceptively delicious!
There is so much orangey deliciousness lurking behind the chocolate flavor of this cookie.
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
When I was in pastry school we had a French chef instructor who told us that his favorite dessert combination was chocolate and orange. I remember thinking that was SO weird, like hello have you seen chocolate and caramel? chocolate and coffee? lemon and blueberry?
I was so confused by his confession.
Then over the years that followed whenever that flavor combo was offered or an option somewhere, I would always try it just so I can see where he was coming from.
At first I was like ok, this is fine, nothing to write home about.
Then one day I ran out of half the milk I needed for a chocolate cake, and decided I would use orange juice to make up for the rest of it.
Ok, flavor combo, I see you now.
The deep richness of the chocolate combined with the citrus orange actually baked together is what did it for me.
Fast forward to today…
Insert these chocolate shortbread cookies.
What makes these chocolate shortbread cookies so good?
They are so light and buttery yet they have so much flavor packed into each and every bite.
A hint of orange flavor is infused completely into the whole chocolate cookie with fresh orange zest. They are so good that I dare you not to close your eyes when you bite into it.
How to decorate:
I dipped them in chocolate because I think thats always a good idea, and garnished them with a little more zest to make is pretty, and some sea salt for an added extra crunch.
If only I knew where that chef instructor is now, I would hand deliver a box of these chocolate shortbread cookies (with extra orange zest) to him as an apology, because he was most definitely right- chocolate and orange is a spectacular flavor combo and now one of my favorites as well.
To see the rest of the cookies that I added to my holiday cookie gift box this year and for a how-to on creating your own cookie box, be sure to check out these links below:
- How to Create the Ultimate Cookie Gift Box
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chewy Lemon Coconut Cookies
- Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Raspberry Lemon Linzer Cookies
- Chewy White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze
- Chunky Cherry Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies
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Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ large orange zested about 1 -1 ½ tablespoons zest plus more for garnish
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate melted, for dipping baked cookies
- Sea salt such as Maldon for garnish
- Line a half sheet tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar, and orange zest, and beat on low-medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and mix until a dough forms. It may not completely come together but that’s totally fine. Dump the dough out onto the parchment paper, shape into a flat disk, and freeze for 30-45 mins.
- Prepare 2 sheet trays with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough into ¼’’ thickness between 2 pieces of parchment paper and using a 3 inch square cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Then using a sharp knife, split it in half. If you have a rectangular cookie cutter- use that! You can use any other shape you want, I just did it with a square cutter. Repeat with scraps. Freeze the cookie dough rectangles for 1 hour on the sheet trays.
- Preheat your oven to 325° F and bake for 11-12 minutes, then cool before garnishing.
- To garnish- Melt the dark chocolate in a small microwaveable bowl, about 30 seconds at a time until fully melted.
- Prepare a sheet tray with wax or parchment paper. Dip the corners of the cookies into the chocolate then lay down on the wax paper, sprinkle with extra orange zest and crunchy sea salt.