Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

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Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies. I love the beautiful color of blood oranges, don’t you?? It’s always kind of exciting when they come in season. I will use them in a variety of dishes, but these Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies felt right this morning when I woke up.

Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

Making The Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

These are made like any other traditional shortbread cookie. Start by creaming the butter and sugar. Make sure it is mixed well and light and fluffy. Next add in your egg yolk (for richness), orange juice (flavor), orange zest (flavor x10), and vanilla.

woman mixing whole wheat cookie dough with a hand mixer

This is a partial wheat recipe. I used 50% whole wheat for a healthier bake. The flour I used was soft winter wheat, this is my favorite for cookies. I have been buying my wheat kernels from Farm Fresh Wheat, a great generational farm out of Washington. Also, I ground the wheat in my Nutrimill, which is my right-hand appliance in the kitchen. I use it ALL THE TIME. Now, blend your wet and dry ingredients, but only mix to combine.

If you overmix your cookie dough, it will wind up being tough. That is not what we want in a cookie, be mindful to only mix enough to combine.

woman mixing whole wheat flour into cookies for whole wheat cookie dough

Chilling The Dough

You actually have 2 options at this point. These cookies can be baked right away, or you can chill the dough. I prefer to chill the dough. I love slicing cookies too, so when I was preparing it for chilling, I rolled it into a log and wrapped it in saran wrap. The dough is soft at this point though, so be careful when rolling.

woman rolling cookie dough in saran wrap for chilling

Cutting And Baking Cookies

Once the dough has chilled, at least 1 hour, it is time to bake! If you formed your dough into a log, it is time to slice. I wanted a little thinner, more delicate cookie, so I cut my slices about 1/4 inch thick. They are a little misshapen after cutting, so I always round them out just a bit. Next, on to your parchment-lined baking sheet and into the oven. Bake until they are VERY lightly golden brown, and only just around the edges.

woman slicing cookie log on a wood cutting board

Cream Cheese Blood Orange Icing

You don’t have to use the blood orange cream cheese icing, but let me just say, it is really good! I dipped half the cookie in the icing, then sprinkle them with chopped walnuts. The other half of the cookies I drizzled with the icing. I should have included a photo of those but didn’t take one. You will just have to imagine what they look like :).

Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

Look at these lovely little beauties. The good thing about them is they are so light. They aren’t the kind of cookie that will weigh you down! The bad thing about them is they are so light. It makes you feel like you can eat a lot of cookies!

Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

More Blood Orange Recipes

If blood oranges are you thing, let me give you a few more recipes to try.

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Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies

The delicate cookies have a light, subtle blood orange flavor and are delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword blood orange shortbread cookies, healthier cookies, whole wheat cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
chill time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Author Amy- A Red Spatula


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons blood orange juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour I prefer a whole wheat pastry flour. Make sure to use the scoop and measure method. Meaning, loosen the whole wheat flour and scoop into your measuring cup. Then level the top of the flour. This will ensure the flour isn't compacted, but light.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Blood Orange Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar This is a variable, add more if you need
  • 1/4-1/2 cup blood orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest


  • Add butter and granulated sugar to a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand or stand mixer until the butter is light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes.
    Add in the egg yolk, orange juice, zest, and vanilla. Mix well.
    Next is your all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and salt. Mix these with your wet ingredients, but only enough to combine.
    Remove the dough from the bowl and onto saran wrap. Roll into a log and wrap in the saran wrap. It will be a little sticky at this point, so just be patient when rolling!
    Let this chill in the fridge for at least an hour. You can also make the dough in advance. The dough can hold in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen at this point, holding in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Remember to bring to room temp before cutting.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
    Remove your cookie dough from the fridge. Carefully take off the saran wrap and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices on the baking sheet a few inches apart. I did 12 per sheet.
    Place in preheated oven and bake until the edges are a VERY LIGHT golden brown. Mine took about 12 minutes.
    While they are cooling, start mixing your glaze. Add the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons blood orange juice, and zest to a bowl. Mix on high and add more powdered sugar or juice to reach the consistency you are looking for.
    You can either dip the cookies or drizzle it on the cookies.
    Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!

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