Dark Chocolate Orange Slice & Bake Cookies

orange slice and bake cookies with half of each cookie dipped in dark chocolate on a white plate

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But right now we have to discuss cookies. Business as usual.

orange slice and bake cookies with half of each cookie dipped in dark chocolate

More specifically, slice and bake shortbread-like cookies with a drench of dark chocolate and scented with fresh orange. A sprinkle of sea salt to bring it all together, not to mention butter + brown sugar + cinnamon + vanilla inside the cookie itself. This is where you want to be and that salted dark chocolate edge is allllll you want to taste. Do yourself a favor and actually cover the entire thing in dark chocolate. I promise you won’t hate it. ♥

These cookies are a nod to my classic stand-by: the toasted hazelnut slice ‘n’ bakes that changed my opinion on slice and bake cookies altogether. Prior to those gems, I thought slice and bake cookies were dry and boring. Because honestly? They can be very dry and even more boring. But when carefully crafted with the proper ratio of ingredients, plus a little flavor– these thick buttery cookies melt in your mouth and the words dry + boring only belong to plain rice cakes and cardboard.

2 images of cookie dough in a glass stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and cookie dough on the counter and part of the cookie dough rolled into a log and wrapped in plastic wrap

I’ve sort of explained all this before, so I’ll just recap here. The cookie dough is like shortbread cookie dough and sugar cookie dough combined. The base recipe couldn’t be easier: flour, sugar, egg and butter. Creamed butter and brown sugar is the base; brown sugar because there’s flavor and moisture there! A teensy bit of vanilla extract adds more wonderful flavor, while the egg keeps the cookies from crumbling all over your hands and lap.

You’ll need 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons of flour. I know that amount is weird. Why the 2 extra Tbsp? Well, you’ll add 2 Tablespoons of fresh-squeezed juice from delicious Sunkist oranges. More on that in a sec. The 2 Tablespoons of flour keep the added moisture in check and prevent the cookies from 0ver-spreading. A pinch of cinnamon, fresh orange zest, and just enough finely chopped walnuts for flavor. You can leave out the walnuts, I just added them because NUTS belong in all cookies. I know .01% of you agree. Please comment if you agree so I don’t feel nuts! (Get it??)

The dough is soft, but sturdy enough to be shaped into logs. What I mean by that is this: you’ll take the dough, turn it out onto a floured work surface, divide in two, roll into logs, wrap the logs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. That all sounds like a lot of work but it will take you all of, like, 2 minutes. What I love about this log business is that you can slice off however many cookies you want to bake and eat at any given time. The dough can chill in the refrigerator for 5 days, but I’ve kept it in there for a week and the cookies still taste fabulous.

2 images of cookie dough log cut into slices and slices of cookie dough on a silpat baking mat

Roll the logs in a little coarse sugar for sparkle. This is optional, but it’s pretty.

So is it really optional then???

See that gorgeous orange zest in the cookie? I love it. So much flavor. This is a recipe I’m making in partnership with Sunkist and their juicy, refreshing navel oranges SHINE in these slice ‘n’ bake cookies. What better to pair with orange than dark chocolate? Truly an underrated flavor combination, chocolate and orange is not only spot-on delicious– the pair’s kinda perfect for Halloween, no?

So good it’ll scare you. (I couldn’t help myself with that one!!!)

orange slice and bake cookies with half of each cookie dipped in dark chocolate

orange slice and bake cookies with half of each cookie dipped in dark chocolate on a white plate

These dark chocolate orange slice and bake cookies are soft in the centers, super thick and dense with crunchy edges, with lots of salted dark chocolate and orange zest. And I’m being serious about coating the entire thing in dark chocolate…

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orange slice and bake cookies with half of each cookie dipped in dark chocolate on a white plate

Dark Chocolate Orange Slice & Bake Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 44 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These dark chocolate orange slice & bake cookies are loaded with flavor! A little crunch from sea salt and cinnamon spice bring it all together.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (133g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer light in these!)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest from 1 medium navel orange (plus more for sprinkling on top if desired)
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) orange juice from 1 medium navel orange
  • optional: 1/2 cup (63g) chopped walnuts
  • optional: coarse sugar for rolling (I use sugar in the raw brand)
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, and continue to beat until fully combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick and slightly sticky. Switch to high speed and beat in the zest, fresh orange juice, and walnuts (if using). Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, divide into two. Shape each half into an 8-inch log, about 2.5 inches in diameter. The measurements don’t have to be exact. Tightly wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 5 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  4. Remove logs from the refrigerator and roll into coarse sugar, if desired. It’s added only for a little crunch! Slice each log into 12 equally thick cookies and place cookies on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or (carefully!) use the microwave. For the microwave, place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each completely cooled cookie halfway into the chocolate and place onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and orange zest (if desired). Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set. Once set, enjoy!

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Baked and chocolate-dipped cookies freeze well – up to three months. Or you can freeze them without the chocolate and dip/decorate after they thaw out. Cookie dough logs freeze well too, up to three months. Allow the logs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then continue with step 3.
  2. Special Tools: Silpat Baking Mat | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl | KitchenAid Flex Edge BeaterKitchenAid Stand Mixer | Raw Sugar
  3. Chocolate: Make sure you are using quality, pure chocolate. Not chocolate chips. You can also use bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or white chocolate instead.

Keywords: dark chocolate orange cookies, orange slice n bake cookies

77 Comments

  1. Jenny Blaylock says:

    I will make these cookies for sure and I will add the nuts. What’s a cookie without nuts?!?! This reminds me of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Yum great flavor pairing. 

  2. Hi Sally, thank you! I just made these today! Can you clarify if you recommend chopped walnuts or hazelnuts? You go back and forth in your post and the recipe.

    1. Hi Heather! These cookies are adapted from a hazelnut version that is on my blog. I recommend walnuts for these, but I think hazelnuts or even pecans would be tasty too. Did you like them?

      1. Thank you! I loved them. I think I may have done something wrong though. I’m not a baker but you inspire me to try my hand at it. When I made the dough it was very dry and crumbly. I had to knead it a lot so I could make it into a log, which maybe wasn’t a good idea? I baked them for around 20+ minutes waiting for the edges to brown and I think that made the cookies crispy, not soft in the middle as you described. Again, I’m not a baker so this a learning curve. Despite that they were delicious. I’m going to try them again tonight, only bake it for the time you recommend, add the walnuts, and I’m not sure about the crumbly part. Maybe I measured wrong. Thank your for inspiring me so!

  3. So excited to make these for Halloween! I understand the concept of the slice and bake, but can these be made into fun shapes using cookie cutters? How would that work.. might you chill the log and then cut out the shapes from the slices? I guess work with the dough as little as you can?

    1. I don’t recommend using this dough as cookie cutter dough, they will spread! You don’t want that 🙂

  4. I made these this weekend (without the nuts), and they were easy, delicious, and a huge hit! I rubbed the zest of a second orange with about 5 Tbsp of granulated sugar. Then, after dipping the cookie halfway in the melted chocolate, I rolled the edge in the orange sugar. They looked so fancy! Thank you for a great recipe.

  5. Hi Sally!

    These look amazing. I’m currently looking to make some log cookies and these caught my eye. I was wondering if you thought it would be possible to include chocolate chips in the dough instead of the nuts? Just to skip dipping the cookies in the chocolate after you bake them off.
    Thank you!

    1. Oh absolutely! I’d maybe use mini chocolate chips so you aren’t slicing through big chips!

  6. I just made these cookies and they are absolutely delicious. The orange flavour is very well balanced. I’m happy I only baked one and froze the log because otherwise I would have eaten them all..!

  7. I made these for the Christmas Cookie exchange. Awesome!!! I was hoping they would taste as good as they smelled cooking…and they did. Thanks for yet another keeper recipe!!!

  8. These cookies are fabulous! I made 130 of them this weekend to package as gifts. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    My coworkers (who tasted my test batch and gave feedback) thought it could be interesting to try substituting the cinnamon with cardamom. I think I’ll try it but the cinnamon is so good it likely won’t top it.

  9. As soon as I saw you post these cookies I knew they belonged with me! haha They came out so delicious and not overly sweet. I’m enjoying them with a cup of Tazo orange tea!

  10. My husband doesnt like orange. Is there any way I could substitute the orange with lemon?

    1. Yes, absolutely. Just a 1:1 switch. Maybe use white chocolate instead of dark?

  11. What is the consistency supposed to be like for the cookie?  
    Mine were really dry but not crunchy.  I don’t know if I over baked them.  I tried to follow the recipe exactly, but something seems to go wrong in my oven and I’m trying to figure it out.

    1. Hi Beth, it could be overbaking. Try a minute or 2 less. The cookies have crisp edges with slightly crumbly and soft centers.

  12. Hi Sally! I absolutely LOVE this recipe of yours, I’ve made it many times since the fall and it has never disappointed me 🙂 I was wondering if this cookie tends to spread a lot during baking? I was thinking of doing them for Valentines day in the shape of a heart (using a cookie cutter), but wasn’t sure if the shape would hold!

    1. They *slightly* spread but they will definitely hold a heart shape. Make sure the dough hearts are VERY cold going into the oven.

  13. I was thinking of adding a pinch of ground clove. What do you think?

    1. Sounds great!

  14. Just made these—delicious! Mine too were not exactly round, more of a rounded rectangle LOL so dipped the side in chocolate, big hit! 

  15. These were soooo elegant, easy and delicious! More slice and bake cookies please! I never made any before, but they were so simple and I like the make ahead factor!

  16. Hey Sally!

    Could these be rolled and cut with a cookie cutter? I love the chocolate/orange combo and want to use it with some festive cookie shapes

    1. Hi Natasha! I don’t recommend it– the cookies may not hold their shape and the cookie dough will be sticky. Instead, I recommend adding mini chocolate chips plus a little orange zest to my cut-out sugar cookies recipe. Even a teaspoon of orange extract if you’d like. You can dunk those in chocolate, too!

  17. Love this recipe! I have a question…when I tried to “sprinkle” the orange zest on the baked cookie, the zest was west and clumpy. What do I do about that? Thanks

    1. You can try blotting it with a paper towel if it’s super wet.

    2. I zest my oranges straight onto the cookies, it only clumps for me when I try to handle it 🙂

  18. Thanks for your quick response! I will try that, because I’ll definitely be making these again.

    1. These are great! I live at 7,500’ so I adjusted the flour, sugar & liquid. I plan on making all the other citrus too. My daughter thought blood oranges.

  19. Love this recipe. Made these last Christmas as indicated above and as a lime/white chocolate version (omitted cinnamon). They were the first cookie folks asked if I was making again this year!

  20. These are my favorite cookies of all time.
    This year (along with gift cards) they will be the gifts for my friends, my kids’ teachers, the amazon guy, EVERYONE…. bc they are that good.

    Def recommend high quality chocolate for dipping. Also don’t skip the sugar on the outside or the sea salt. The texture is part of its beauty and its amazing taste.

  21. Sally- what would you think of doing these in a half-round shape, then piping chocolate look like a little orange slice. My family loves those slam oranges, do you know those?
    It would be like a slam orange cookie. Also what is the best dark chocolate for dipping and drizzling? do you add oil to it or no. Thanks for the recipes.

    1. Hi Barb! That would definitely work. You can follow this recipe as instructed, then cut the sliced circles in half to create semi-circles. The bake time may be a minute or 2 shorter. The best chocolate melting and decorating are the 4 ounce baking chocolate bars often sold next to the chocolate chips– same as I use in this recipe. A little oil will help thin it out for drizzling.

  22. Hello Sally! I just discovered your website and I am really enjoying all of the cookie recipes I’ve come across so far. I loooove chocolate and orange together, so this cookie is definitely in my baking schedule for the next few days! However, I have a question about substitutions – I’m highly allergic to walnuts, but I’d like to include some other nut in the recipe (because you’re right – nuts belong in cookies!) to keep that crunch factor. What other nuts would you recommend? Thanks in advance, and (early) Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Hannah! I love these cookies with pecans instead of walnuts. Even pistachios would be delicious, too!

  23. Hi Sally! Quick question—if I were to use the orange glaze from your orange poppyseed bars on top of these cookies (instead of the chocolate), would I be able to mail them? Or do you think the glaze would get all melty and spoiled in the mail?

    Thanks in advance! (And thanks for all the deeeelicious recipes! I’ve made so many of them and not a one has ever turned out badly!)

    1. Hi Sarah, I love the glaze on the orange poppy bars! It does “set” after about 10 minutes, it’s very similar to donut glaze which sets enough to not be sticky but isn’t completely hard like a royal icing. For mailing it really depends on how far you are mailing them and the climate. If it’s cold where you live and it’s next day air they will likely be fine.

  24. How about Grand Marnier instead of juice, maybe more orange intensity?

    1. You can definitely give that a try!

  25. The lady I want to make these for doesn’t like chocolate.
    Do these have enough orange flavor to not dip them?
    I’m excited to make them for her 90th birthday.

    1. Yes, you can skip the chocolate and they still have a wonderfully flavor. I hope she loves them!

  26. I just made these- haven’t baked them yet- I’m going to let the dough sit In the fridge overnight. The dough was very wet. It was extremely difficult to roll these into a log. I got a general shape and am hoping it will be more workable in the morning before I slice them. I didn’t use nuts and I’m wondering if the recipe, as is, doesn’t really work if you omit the nuts and needs more flour. Any ideas? Or is this the way it’s supposed to feel/work?

    1. Hi Lindsay, The nuts are optional so no changes should be needed if you leave them out. I use plastic wrap to make shaping the logs easier (see photo of this above). They should be firm enough to slice tomorrow after being refrigerated overnight. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks! I used plastic wrap but it didn’t work. I just reshaped it today and it was totally fine. Delicious cookies! I did some with chocolate chunks inside versus the dip and I liked it both ways

  27. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe Sally! I made them as a treat for Easter and were absolutely delicious, and a hit with my husband! I left the dough rest overnight and next morning It was perfect. I dipped half of them in chocolate and left the other half without chocolate and they both taste amazing. Just the perfect texture. I will definitely make them again!

  28. Second time I make these cookies, but I had no chocolate left, so I just added the nuts this time and even without the chocolate they are absolutely delicious!

  29. These are very good cookies! The dough was a bit too crumbly, so I added a little more orange juice. It took me 7 cookies to realize I didn’t like how bitter the chocolate I used was, but the friend I made these with loved them!!! I’m using this base and making more chocolate vanilla cookies today, and they are lovely! Thank you for sharing.

  30. I thought these cookies were delicious. I found the dough very easy to work with; it’s soft but was easy to roll into logs with plastic wrap. I chilled 1 log for 2 hours then sliced and baked. They didn’t spread, came out beautifully and were so good! The second log was refrigerated overnight and then baked; honestly, I didn’t find a difference in the 2 batches.
    ***I did have to make substitutions because of covid!
    Instead of orange juice, I used an equal amount of Baileys Irish Cream. I added mini chocolate chips to the dough instead of dipping cookies in chocolate. Oh and I only have white whole wheat flour, which worked perfectly. Thank you for the recipe; it’s delicious and seems adaptable! I’m looking forward to trying the recipe as written when I can buy fresh oranges!

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