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12 Days of Christmas Treats: Almond Orange Shortbread

By on December 21, 2013 in Game-Day Meal, Holiday Treats

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the 2013 edition of The 12 Days of Christmas Treats! Every day from now until Christmas, we’ll bring you a new, scrumptious recipe for a holiday cookie, cake, or other dessert treat. Whether you leave them out for Santa or simply sample them all yourself is up to you, we just encourage you to try them all! Leave your comments below each recipe and upload a photo if you make your own batch at home. Season’s Eatings!

by Amy Johnson, Managing Editor,

20131207_153000PHILADELPHIA, PA — Aromas of oranges and cloves go hand-in-hand with the holidays, the warm scents making your home feel cozy and festive.  Today’s featured recipe allows you to wrap up in that comfort, perhaps with some tea! The dough for this also freezes well, so you can make up a batch and slice off enough to bake up a few cookies at a time on a cold winter’s day.

Almond Orange Shortbread
Recipe Courtesy:

Prep/Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 40 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup sliced almonds

1. In a mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, almond extract, and salt until smooth.




2. With mixer on low speed, add flour and orange zest; mix just until a dough forms.


3. With a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or your hands, gently mix in almonds.


4. On a piece of waxed paper, form dough into a rectangular log, 12 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Wrap log in the paper, and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 months. If freezing longer than 1 day, wrap log again, in plastic wrap.


5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from freezer. (If dough has been in freezer a long time and is frozen solid, let it sit at room temperature 30 minutes so it slices without crumbling.)  With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.


6. Bake until edges just begin to turn golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet; transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next holiday recipe – Santa’s Snickers! And if you missed any of our previous recipes in this series, take a moment to check them out below:

Day 1 – Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Day 2White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Cookies
Day 3Apricot Rugelach
Day 4Hot Cocoa Cake
Day 5Eggnog-Panettone Bread Pudding
Day 6Cherry-Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Day 7Marshmallow Pops
Day 8Almond and Lemon Biscotti Dipped in White Chocolate

Photo credits: Amy Johnson

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