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orange shortbread cookies

Orange Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen 1x


Orange Shortbread Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Simple to make. Not overly sweet. Lovely citrus notes. My very favorite shortbread!


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest (zest of 2 or 3 large oranges)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)


  1. Cream butter, powdered sugar and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer.
  2. Add the cornstarch and flour and mix to combine. The dough will come together, first, as crumbly and sandy.  Continue mixing and it will become a smooth dough, that breaks apart into large clumps.  It will not hold together as one large ball.  The dough is drier than regular cookie dough.
  3. Roll the dough into balls in the palm of your hand, pressing them into a smooth symmetrical sphere. Balls should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter with no cracks in them.
  4. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten using a fork or the bottom of a glass.  I had a snowflake insert for a cookie cutter that worked well.   Use any decorative imprinter you have to flatten the cookies to a thickness of 3/8″.
  5. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before putting them on the cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely and then store for 24 hours before serving.


These cookies are so delicious and delicate. They will melt in your mouth when you take a bite.  Waiting 24 hours to serve them is important, so they don’t crumble before they get to your mouth.   Patience will be a deliciously rewarded virtue!

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Dessert, Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American