This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Swoon-worthy Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling delivers holiday flavor pairing perfection. These decadent-filled treats will be the new must-have on your cookie platter!
- The orange zest gives both the cookies and the ganache filling a vibrant citrus zip.
- Buttery shortbread is the ideal, pleasantly crumbly contrast to the creamy filling.
I love orange flavor at the holidays. It’s probably because the fruits were once considered a luxury that they remain a Christmas tradition. Orange is a key flavor in Aunty Rosaleen’s Traditional Irish Christmas Cake Recipe, a pot of Orange Marmalade makes a quick and delicious homemade gift, and Dark Chocolate and Orange Cookies and Chocolate Orange Fudge are festive favorites.
You’ll love pairing Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling with the other scrumptiously creative sweets in our Chocolate Charcuterie Board, including Chocolate Ganache Dip and Mocha Pâté. If you’re expecting a crowd, add more easy-to-grab holiday delicacies like Christmas Sugar Cookie Truffles, Chocolate Profiteroles (Cream Puffs), and Candy Cane and Chocolate Peppermint Bark.
Table of Contents
- What is Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling?
- Tools You Need
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling
- Can I Make Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling in Advance?
- How to Store Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Truffle Filling
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Filled Cookie Recipes
What is Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling?
- Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling is a sandwich cookie made with shortbread rounds and ganache.
- The shortbread dough and the milk and bittersweet chocolate ganache each are made with the zest of an entire orange.
- The British company Terry’s introduced the Chocolate Orange, the chocolate ball infused with orange oil, in 1932. Famously, the Terry’s Chocolate Orange is whacked on a table before unwrapping. These cookies give you an elegant, homemade version with an intense chocolate-orange flavor.
Tools You Need
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Heat-proof bowl
- Small saucepan
- Baking sheets and parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- 2-inch cookie cutter
- Wire rack
- Piping bag with a large, round tip (optional)
Key Ingredients and Why
- In the shortbread dough, butter adds flavor, softness, and moisture.
- Make sure to soften before using. You’ll know it is at the right temperature when you push the butter with your finger, and it makes an indent, but your finger doesn’t easily squish right through.
- Butter gives the ganache a rich, silky texture.
- In the shortbread dough, butter adds flavor, softness, and moisture.
- Powdered sugar provides sweetness and gives shortbread a melt-in-your-mouth quality and a lovely crumbly texture.
- Try our recipe and see how easy it is to make your own powdered sugar.
- The zest of a whole orange is used in both the shortbread cookies and the ganache, and it infuses the cookies beautifully.
- Zest is preferable to juice because it enriches flavors with fruit oils without diluting the dough.
- All-purpose flour typically has a protein content of 8-11%, making it perfect for these shortbread cookies so that they aren’t too chewy or elastic.
- Salt is crucial for bringing out all the flavors of the shortbread.
- Milk chocolate, with 38% – 42% cocoa solids, adds a sweeter note to the ganache and also makes it softer and more spreadable than ganache made solely with bittersweet chocolate.
- Bittersweet chocolate (63% – 72% cocoa solids), with its darker color and bolder flavor, gives the ganache a rich taste.
- Learn all about the different kinds of chocolate with our helpful guide.
- Heavy cream emulsifies with chocolate to create a creamy, silky, spreadable consistency.
- Be sure to use heavy cream, which has a fat content of 36%, for the richest, smoothest, most stable ganache.
How to Make Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling
- Make the cookie dough: Cream the 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) butter, sugar, vanilla extract, zest of one orange, and salt until fluffy. Gradually add flour until just mixed. Form the dough into a disc and cover it in plastic wrap.
- Make the filling: Put milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and the zest of one orange in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream with two tablespoons (1 oz/28 g) butter. Pour over the chocolate mixture and let sit for five minutes. Slowly whisk the mixture until it comes together, and then let it cool.
- Cut and bake the shortbread: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to ⅛-inch (3mm) thickness and cut 2-inch (5 cm) circles. Place on baking sheets, dock the cookies (poke with holes to let out steam), and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden at the edges. Let cool on the rack.
- Assemble the cookies: Pipe or spoon the filling onto the centers of half the cookies. Top with unfilled halves and press together lightly.
Can I Make Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling in Advance?
Yes, you can make Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling in advance.
- Make and store ganache in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four weeks.
- Bake cookies and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or freeze them for up to three months.
How to Store Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Truffle Filling
Store orange shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days, or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
What’s the secret to tender shortbread?
- Mix the dough just until it comes together. Overmixing leads to gluten formation, and can result in tough cookies.
- Don’t over-flour your surface when rolling out the dough. Excess flour will toughen the cookies.
Last time I made ganache, it split. How do I make sure my ganache isn’t grainy?
- Do not overbeat the ganache. Use a whisk to use small circular motions until the mixture comes together.
- Use finely chopped chocolate bars instead of chips. Chocolate chips are designed to hold their shape, so it’s hard for them to melt completely.
- Do not overheat the chocolate. Let the warmed cream sit in the bowl without stirring for 10 minutes. This process will melt the chocolate evenly and naturally without causing it to seize or become grainy.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Be sure to roll these cookies nice and thin – no more than an ⅛ inch (3mm). This is a thinner and more delicate than regular shortbread because you will be sandwiching them with filling. If the cookie is any thicker, it will be too much of a mouthful.
- When sandwiching the cookies, use gentle pressure right in the center of the cookie, or it might crack.
- Because the ganache contains cream, these cookies are best kept refrigerated if stored for longer than two days.
- Believe it or not, some folks are not fans of the chocolate and orange combination! If this is you – simply leave out the zest in both the cookie and the filling.
- Instead of orange, you can use a few drops of peppermint oil in both the cookie and the filling.
More Filled Cookie Recipes
Orange Shortbread with Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling
- 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) butter, softened
- ½ cup (2 oz/57 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 cups (10 oz/284 g) all-purpose flour
Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling
- 1 ⅓ cups (8 oz/225 g) milk chocolate, finely chopped
- ⅔ cup (4 oz/115 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 orange
- ⅔ cup (5 fl oz/142 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz/28 g) butter
To Make the Orange Shortbread Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a medium bowl and a handheld electric mixer), cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and zest on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Lower the speed to low and gradually add in the flour until it is just mixed, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl once or twice.
- Shape the dough into a flattened disc, wrap well or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.
To Make the Chocolate Orange Truffle Filling
- Place the milk and bittersweet chocolate and the orange zest in a medium heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering.
- Pour over the chocolate and let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes.
- Place a whisk in the center of the bowl and begin to stir the cream and chocolate together using a small, circular motion until it comes together. Set aside to let cool and thicken.
To Bake the Shortbread
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to ⅛-inch (3mm) thickness and cut circles with a 2-inch (5 cm) cutter. Place 1-inch (2½ cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Dock the cookies all over with a toothpick or the point of a thin knife to help them bake evenly and bake both sheets at a time for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are just beginning to turn light golden around the edges.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool while you finish baking the rest of the cookies. Let cool completely.
To Assemble the Cookies
- Check the consistency of the ganache. It should be about the consistency of peanut butter – thick enough to hold its shape but not so firm that it can’t be piped. If it is too thick, warm it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until it softens to the right consistency. If it is still too warm and runny, place it in the refrigerator and stir every 3 minutes until it firms up.
- You can spoon the filling onto the cookies but the easiest and neatest way is with a piping bag: fill a piping bag fitted with a large, round tip with the filling.
- Turn half of the cookies upside down. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the center of each cookie. Sandwich with an unfilled half and very gently press down to spread the filling.
- Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.