Warmly-spiced cardamom orange paleo shortbread cookies, dipped in orange-cardamom chocolate for a decadent treat. Made with almond flour, coconut oil, and coconut sugar, this shortbread recipe is, gluten free, vegan, and paleo.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
You know when you’re convinced something has to be complicated, and then you’re blown away by how simple it is? Like when you call a customer service hotline and the rep solves every single one of your problems, including giving you free expedited shipping, 15% off, and feeding your cat? Or when you walk in the door to find your significant human has mounted (<- for lack of better terminology + comedic design) your Christmas tree, PLUS cleaned the bathrooms PLUS put away the dishes without you so much as uttering a request, without you so much as having any lick of expectation AND said messes to un-mess were yours from the very beginning??
That relief, that deep, heavy sigh, that woosah, that how’d-I-get-to-be-so-lucky? That’s how I feel about these cookies. This shortbread.
Wait, quick query: Is shortbread technically a cookie, or is it just, “shortbread,” kind of like how jeans and cords are pants, but overalls are just overalls? You don’t have to answer now, just marinating on it for me is enough.
Back to my complicated story regarding simplicity:
The key flavor figures here are cardamom, orange, and chocolate. Combining the three together makes for THE MOST UNIQUE COOKIE TO EVER GREET YOUR COOKIE HOLE. <- no lies, no no no no drama. Ground cardamom and fresh orange zest are added to the cookie dough, and similarly, ground cardamom and orange extract are added to the melted chocolate for the dippage. This leaves you with a double cardamom-orange whammy with a big, bold chocolate mouth melt.
Sound complicated? It’s not!
The intricacies behind the flavor profile of this recipe are vast, yet the preparation is S to the IMPLE. Lettuce discuss.
All you do to prepare this shortbread is stir the cookie dough ingredients together in a bowl – form a cookie log and refrigerate, then cut into love biscuits and bake. Whilst cookies are cooling post-bake, melt a chocolate dipping sauce situation on your stovetop for the drizzle-age. By golly, you then drizzle. More like pour. More like chug. You put yourself into a chocolate coma via rubber spatula, bowl, and face.
Your cookie exchange dilemma? Solved. You’re welcome.
Cookie componentry? Almond flour, COCONUT SUGAR, and coconut oil, that’s IT for the major components. If you were so bold as to make this a three-ingredient shortbread (slash cookie? Cords, pants, overalls?) situation, that’s all you’d be using. Plus, baking soda, because: crunch//leavening. BUT, adding stuff like orange zest and cardamom is why we’re here…this is what we came for.
I used Bob’s Red Mill’s Organic Coconut Sugar for this recipe. If you’ve been around The Roasted Root’s block a time or two, you know I’m a mega fan of coconut sugar. It can be used as a 1:1 replacement for cane sugar in most recipes, is lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar and most other sweeteners, and even contains some health benefits.
The shortbread cookies on their own are gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, naturally sweetened, and paleo (phew!), but adding the chocolate coating can change that depending on your approach, since most chocolate chips are not diary free or sugar free. For this reason, I have noted a few options in the recipe to cater to our dietary needs.
For the chocolate dipped portion of this recipe, we have a few options:
- Prepare the chocolate coating using chocolate chips – this option is not technically paleo, since most chocolate chips contain dairy and sugar.
- Use vegan chocolate chips for the coating. This will keep the recipe vegan, though vegan chocolate chips contain cane sugar.
- Make homemade paleo chocolate using cocoa powder, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup. This method results in a vegan and paleo-friendly recipe for those who restrict their dairy and sugar intake.
Chocolate Dipped Cardamom Orange Paleo Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Coating (Chocolate Chip Option):
Stir together all of the ingredients for the shortbread cookies in a mixing bowl until well combined and a thick, sticky dough forms. Use your hands to form a cylinder out of the cookie dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least two hours, until dough hardens.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking oil. Remove the plastic wrap from the shortbread dough and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick rounds. Place dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies are golden-brown around the edges.
Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to sit untouched at least 15 minutes - this process ensures the cookies will set up and hold together (If you don't allow cookies to cool, they will fall apart).
While cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate coating (use either recipe depending on your dietary restrictions). Add the ingredients for the chocolate coating to a small skillet and heat to medium, stirring frequently, until chocolate chips have melted completely. (Note: if you choose to prepare the paleo chocolate coating, allow the mixture to cool 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until mixture thickens.). Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over 1/2 the surface of each cookie. Place bake on the cookie sheet until chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!
*You can use vegan chocolate chips to keep the recipe dairy-free.