orange shortbread cookies

Let’s talk about these cookies.

Usually I don’t like to make anything that takes more than 4-5 hours, but these cookies were worth the extra effort. Baking the cookies doesn’t take long at all, but one of the ingredients is candied orange peel, and it took around 1.5 hours of cooking and monitoring to get the peels in shape and another 5 hours waiting for the peels to be cookie-ready. It wasn’t difficult, but it was time consuming. It helped that I did it over two days instead of trying to cram all the work in one day, and in the end I was so glad that I took the time to tackle this recipe.

It’s also great if you happen to love candied orange peel on its own because you can make extra to nibble on in addition to what you’ll need to chop up and bake into the cookies.

Court hates oranges.

Orange Shortbread Cookies
Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking
Makes 24 cookies

Printable recipe


  • Peel of 2 oranges, sliced into 1/4″ strips
  • 2 1/4 cups vegan refined sugar
  • 8 ounces of Earth Balance, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegan confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces vegan dark chocolate

Peel your oranges and slice the peel into strips. Save part of the orange flesh to use for the orange juice you’ll need later on.

Place the sliced orange peel into a small pot of cold water and bring to a boil.

When the water begins to boil, remove from heat, drain the water and repeat the process two more times. After the water is drained the third time, bring the orange peel, 1 3/4 cups refined sugar and 1 cup of water to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, drain the water, roll the strips of peel in the remaining 1/2 cup of refined sugar and place on a rack to dry for 5 hours.

When you’re ready to make the cookies, chop the candied orange peel. You should have approximately 1 cup of chopped peel when you’re finished.

Stir together the Earth Balance and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add in the salt and flour and continue to stir. The dough will start to form clumps.

This is a good thing.

Add the orange zest, orange juice, chopped candied orange peel and vanilla extract to your dough and continue to stir.

Use your hands to form the dough into a log, roughly 2.5″ high x 2.5″ wide

Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

After an hour, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and cut the log into 1/4″ slices.

Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Once cool, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.

Step back and marvel at the masterpiece that you have created.

Eat your masterpiece.

15 thoughts on “orange shortbread cookies

  1. why does court kitty not like oranges?

    Your cats and their fruit obsessions. Makes me giggle.

    These look pretty darn amazing. My mouth is watering thinking about them. Reminds me of those chocolate oranges you buy at Christmas.

  2. You are right, these cookies really worth the dry. I liked the process that was done with the oranges. A good idea would be to cover the caramelized oranges with chocolate. I think they would make a delicious chocolate treat… Don’t you think?

  3. I have a soft spot for bloggers who not only love their cats but who also get a kick out of taking pictures of them when they’re clearly not feeling a camera all up in their face. So glad I found my way here. AND there’s shortbread here at the party…double score.

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