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Orange Shortbread with Spicy Dark Chocolate

Of all the cookies I've made over the years, shortbread is the one that won't last 24 hours in our house. My 11-year-old daughter is wild for dark chocolate and the cayenne pepper is hardly noticeable, but adds a sophisticated kick.—Holly Campbell, Palouse, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Place first six ingredients in a food processor; process until dough comes together. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. diamond-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes or until until edges are light brown. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, mix chocolate and cayenne until smooth. Drizzle over cookies; refrigerate until set.
    Freeze option: Freeze undecorated cookies in freezer containers. To use, thaw in covered containers and decorate as desired.
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