Orange Zest Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

by Chrissy

I think it is probably the understatement of the year, but we’ve been busy. Between the big move to a slightly bigger Little Yellow Kitchen, and catering desserts for the first time, our LYK posting has taken the back seat.

First things first. Say hello to our little friend, LYK #2.

We were amazed that we can comfortably make two dishes at the same time. We were also shocked that we could fit more than 3 people in the kitchen without bumping into each other.

Oh the things we take for granted! Open space = glorious.

Our favorite Italian friend and chef, Giovanni Novella, invited us to try his AMAZING authentic Italian menu over at Voce Del Mare, a fancy place just up the street from us. We should have asked that we get a moving sidewalk installed from our house to the restaurant, so that we could fill our bellies and still make it home with as little movement as possible. #foodbabyissues.

Meet Gio, here are some of his culinary delights.

This tasty little grilled veggie, cheese and prosciutto platter was a great way to start out the night. The salmon carpaccio that followed, was probably the best appetizer that I have ever eaten. Sheer genius.

We ate a lifetime’s worth of pasta… you know things like Gnocchi Alla Norma (homemade gnocchi with ricotta, and eggplant in fresh tomato sauce).

The Linguine alla pescatora (this was like a classic cioppino in the form of a pasta dish) and the Lasagna Napoletana (a gourmet comfort food full of meaty, saucy, cheesy goodness) were both hearty dishes.; Gio’s grandmother’s Lasagna recipe was not put to shame. All other lasagnas bow down to this one (not pictured, we dominated it before the camera could: Chrissy & Lauren 1, camera 0).

The sea bass special was nice and simple: grilled with a side of roasted veggies and a flavorful olive oil sauce. Whoa. I think sea bass is my new favorite fish.

There were 5 of us. Those are gigantic bowls/plates. You do the math. We were filled to the brim with some true Italian food.

For dessert, this homemade mascarpone cookie sandwich was devoured in seconds. He used to be a trained pastry chef… obviously you can see why.


Now onto our first LYK Catering event! Lauren and I prepared 3 types of mini desserts for a banquet. We filled up 3 giant platters full of goodies, which came back to us with just a few crumbs left. Success!

Thanks to the increase in kitchen space, we were able to do this in a calm and collected manner. Here’s what we whipped up:

Orange Zest Shortbread with Dark Chocolate Drizzle.

Nutella Stuffed Brownie Bites.

Lemon Bars (which were sort of like these, without the coconut).

Everything was a hit!

It has been quite a whirlwind, but I think this sums up the last week or so. Thanks for being patient as we are settling into our new space!


Orange Zest Shortbread with Dark Chocolate Drizzle 

Makes about 30 cookies

Adapted from Ina Garten


3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest

4-5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped



Using a food processor (it’s the easiest, but another mixer will work, too), pulse to combine softened butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and salt; combine by pulsing together for several seconds. Add flour, in parts, pulsing to incorporate before adding more.

Once all of the flour is added, pulse just until the dough comes together in food processor, just like when making the dough crust. Shape into a log and roll up in plastic wrap, twisting the ends and folding them in. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before cutting and baking, so it maintains shape in the oven. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough is ready, take out the the plastic wrap and, while using a sharp knife, make 1/4-inch slice cookie rounds and place them onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until they are slightly golden around the edges. When finished, transfer onto wire rack to cool.

When the cookies have cooled completely, place them on a baking sheet lined of a counter, lined with parchment paper. After chopping the chocolate into super fine pieces, put about 3 ounces in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a spoon and then continue to heat and stir in only 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and stir constantly until it’s completely smooth. Place in a Ziploc bag with a small tip of the corner cut off and drizzle onto the cookies (line them up first, to make it easy). Let them dry completely and place in an airtight container.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


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23 Responses to “Orange Zest Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle”

  1. Love your new kitchen, it’s so full of light! Just gorgeous.

  2. Beautiful! Congrats on the new kitchen (it’s freakin’ adorable!) and the catering event! I love orange and chocolate if the orange taste is subtle, and I think these fit the bill. Well done :)

  3. I approve. Your kitchen is bigger and you live just down the street from a cute Italian chef. These are good things! That appetizer platter looks incredible. I want just that for dinner with a glass of wine. Love the orange/dark chocolate combo in your shortbread too! Congrats on the move :)

  4. Nutella stuffed brownies…drooling! Love the new kitchen and am excited for more fab foodie posts!

  5. This is my dad’s favorite combo … I’ll be making these shortbread cookies for Father’s Day! Congrats on your new kitchen and your catering gig!

  6. The baked goods look beautiful and really nice pics. How fun to have your first catering gig!
    Enjoy your new kitchen!

  7. I’m totally curious. Did you really manage to find a new place with a yellow kitchen? Or did you have to paint it that way? Either way, it’s adorable!

  8. Chrissy

    Haha. Cassie, we moved to the unit right next door! It was sheer luck that the yellow walls, counters, and floors were the EXACT same as the first LYK! Just more space and pretty little white cabinets in this one :)

  9. Chrissy

    Thanks, Kathryn. We LOVE it!!

  10. These look gorgeous, they had me drooling! I’m very jealous of your new kitchen, I bump into everything in mine!

  11. Chocolate and orange go together so well. Love this.

  12. Yum! Nutella Stuffed Brownies. Can you provide a recipe for that as well?

    I can’t wait to try out this Orange Zest Shortbread Cookie w/ Dark Chocolate Drizzle. I think orange & chocolate are a great pair. =) Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  13. Chrissy

    Thanks, Emma! The upgrade was essential to our sanity… and safety. Two people walking around with sharp objects in a small kitchen = disaster waiting to happen.:)

  14. Congrats on the Top 9! These shortbread cookies look and sound amazing :)!

  15. Chrissy

    Thanks, Amy! They were such a hit at our first catering event, and we were definitely excited that they made it to Top 9!

  16. I love shortbread cookies, I can’t wait to try these. I recently made some that used almond extract. My kids didn’t like them, yeah, more for me! 😛 Congratulations on your new kitchen.

  17. Chrissy

    Thanks, Debra! Almond extract would be a great shortbread cookie!

  18. Chrissy

    Hi Candice.

    Truth be told, we used a Ghirardelli chocolate chip brownie mix and added a hearty dollop of Nutella to the middle of each unbaked brownie. We used a silicone mini-muffin tray to make the bite-sized Nutella brownies! SUPER easy and SO tasty!

    Thanks for your comment!

  19. Chrissy

    Indeed the do! I remember getting one of those orange slice- chocolates in my stocking for Christmas, and was always amazed that chocolate and orange tasted so good together!

  20. Chrissy

    It was so much fun, and was also a rewarding experience, knowing that our first event was a success!

  21. Chrissy

    if your Pop loves the orange flavor, I would add in an extra 1/2 Tbsp of zest! Have a great Father’s Day, this weekend :)

  22. Chrissy

    Thanks, Bailey. Those Nutella Stuffed Brownies were super simple to make and tasted like heaven.

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