Melt-in-your-mouth chocolate orange slice and bake shortbread cookies filled with orange zest and chopped dark chocolate. Rolled in crunchy turbinado sugar for perfectly crisp edges, with soft and buttery middles.
Tips for Making Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies
When you’re making slice and bake cookies, especially ones with a more shortbread-like consistency, there are a few things you’ll definitely want to make sure you do to ensure success. Let’s break these down!
- Room Temperature Butter: really try to plan ahead and make sure your butter is at an accurate room temperature consistency. Shortcuts like slowing microwaving the butter won’t work here, as you’ll lose some of the moisture in the butter when doing so. It’s better to err on the side of slightly firmer room temp than rushing to make it work in the microwave.
Butter TIP: If you’re in a pinch, a quicker (yet still gradual, gentle) way to get your butter to room temperature is to place your sticks in your oven with the oven light on. I like to place them towards the back, closest to the light on the upper rack. This should get you there quicker than leaving it out on the counter, depending on the temperature of your kitchen!
- Don’t Scoop Your Flour: accuracy is key here, so if you’re not following the gram measurements (which will always be the most accurate), at least make sure to spoon and level your flour. DO NOT scoop—this is not an accurate way to measure out flour and will always give you more than is needed or asked of in the recipe. You can end up with around 25+ grams extra flour PER cup when doing this—ahh! Spoon and level, I beg of you.
- Chilling the Dough: this part is super important! If you don’t allow the dough to chill, it’ll be a nightmare to cut through and the cookies will spread way too much. I found 2 hours to sometimes be enough, while other times I needed right around 3 hours. It just comes down to how cold your fridge is and the temperature of your kitchen! When the dough is solid enough to hold and cut through without losing it’s round shape, you’re good to go.
Hopefully these tips will help make these chocolate orange slice and bake cookies a breeze to make!
Materials You May Need:
- Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- Small mixing bowl
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Plastic wrap
- Plate or cutting board for rolling log in sugar + cutting
- Sharp knife for cutting into log
- Large baking sheets fitted with parchment paper
- Cooling rack
How to Shape Slice and Bake Cookies into a Log
Shaping your chocolate orange slice and bake shortbread cookies can honestly be the toughest part sometimes. If only for the fact that I could get lost doing it forever to get a perfectly round log—at some point, it’s going to be as good and round as it can get!
Here’s my process for shaping the log once I’ve folded in my chopped dark chocolate:
- Pull the dough together with your hands in the bowl into one large, cohesive clump.
- Slowly work it between your hands into a rough log shape by gently squeezing and shaping with your hands.
- Once you’ve got the basic shape, place it in the middle of some plastic wrap on the counter.
- Hold the plastic wrap in both hands, with your log in the middle, and gently roll it back and forth to start rounding out the edges. Really use the plastic wrap to press, roll, smooth the log instead of your hands (the warmth from them will make it harder to handle).
- Once you’ve got it as best as you can and it’s roughly 12 in. long, gently wrap it tightly in the plastic wrap and twist the ends closed before chilling.
If you end up making the log longer or shorter, it’ll just affect how large the cookies are—so don’t stress too much about getting it perfect! They’ll still be just as delicious.
Shaping TIP: When chilling the dough in the fridge, I like to place the log inside two cups laying on their sides with the open ends facing each other. That way the dough will maintain a more rounded edge rather than one side being flat by just resting on your fridge shelf.
Tips for Cutting Slice and Bake Cookies
- Make sure your knife is super sharp for smoother cuts.
- You can use a serrated knife to help cut through the larger chunks of chocolate you may encounter, though I found a straight-edge knife to work just as well so long as it’s sharp.
- Cut in a slow, sawing (back and forth) motion when cutting your log into rounds. If you cut too aggressively or just straight down, you risk splitting/cracking the dough. Just take it slow and steady.
Please share with and tag me over on Instagram (@joshisbaking) if you make these chocolate orange slice and bake shortbread cookies! These are absolutely my new favorites—the combination of dark chocolate and orange just can’t be beat! Add that to some crunchy, caramel-y sides and soft, tender middles? Drool-ing.
Happy baking, friends!Print
Melt-in-your-mouth slice and bake shortbread cookies filled with orange zest and chopped dark chocolate. Rolled in crunchy turbinado sugar for perfectly crisp edges, with soft and buttery middles.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (144g)
- 1–2 tablespoons orange zest (5-10g) from 1-2 medium navel oranges
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (3g)
- 1 whole large egg (50g), separated (yolk from the egg white)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (30g)
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt (3g)
- 1 bar (4-6 oz.) of 60-80% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Demerara or Turbinado sugar for rolling
- First, in the bowl of a stand mixer, rub your granulated sugar and orange zest (1 Tbsp. zest for subtle flavor, 2 Tbsp. for more intense) together for about a minute. This helps release oils for a deeper flavor and your sugar will take on the color of the zest. Then add your room temperature butter and vanilla extract, attach your paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes (stopping to scrape the bowl halfway through and after). Add your egg yolk and beat on medium for 30 seconds until incorporated—save the egg white for rolling your dough in later!
- In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, corn starch, and salt. Add half of your flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low until incorporated. Add the other half, again beating on low until just incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Take your bowl off of the stand mixer, add your chopped chocolate, and fold it in with a spatula until evenly distributed.
- Get some plastic wrap ready on the counter to help shape your dough (unroll a good amount so you have enough to tightly wrap the dough for chilling). Using your hands first, shape the mixture into a log-shape, roughly 12 in. long. Then place it onto your prepared plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap to help roll and shape the log into a more evenly round shape (doesn’t have to be perfect).
- Tightly wrap the log and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours (at least 2 hours). Once there’s about 30 minutes left, preheat the oven to 350°F and prep two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- After the dough has fully chilled, remove the log from the fridge and unwrap the plastic wrap. Lightly whisk your egg white and brush it all over the log. Then roll the log in your demerara/turbinado sugar (can do this on a plate, cutting board, etc.) until it’s fully covered (you might have to place some sugar on with your hands to get it evenly covered).
- Cut the log into 1/2 inch rounds using a sharp knife (use a slower, sawing motion so the dough doesn’t crack when you encounter bits of chocolate). Place about 10-12 rounds on each baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges have started to brown (careful not to over-bake).
- If you’re baking both sheets on the upper and lower racks at the same time, make sure to rotate the pans from top to bottom halfway through for an even bake.
- Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before placing on separate racks to cool completely. Cookies will keep best for about a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- I find it easiest to shape the dough into a log with my hands first and then use the plastic wrap to gently roll it back and forth to smooth out the rounded edges—don’t get hung up on making it perfect!
- When cutting the log into 1/2 in. rounds, I found a straight-edge knife (as opposed to serrated) gave me a smoother cut. Just make sure it’s super sharp beforehand, but you can also try both and see which works best for you!
- Just be sure to cut in a slow, gentle, sawing motion back and forth. Otherwise you risk splitting the dough as you cut, especially when you encounter a chunk of chocolate (just keep slowing cutting back and forth and you’ll eventually cut through those pieces).
- Rolling the log in your demerara/turbinado sugar after brushing the egg white on can be a bit messy, so be prepared for that! I found it easiest to cover the bottom of a large plate with a shallow layer of the sugar, roll the log back and forth for the first coating, and then filling in the gaps by placing/rubbing the sugar on by hand.
More Cookies Recipes to Try!
- Chocolate Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Oatmeal Fig & Ginger Cookies
- Lemon Poppyseed Butter Cookies
- Pumpkin Molasses Cookies