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.