Orange poppy seed shortbread cookies on a plate.

Orange Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies

These easy shortbread cookies are a favourite in our home! They're not just any shortbread cookies - they're Orange Poppy Seed Shortbread! They're peppered with poppy seeds and orange zest. As the finishing touch, they are dipped in orange chocolate and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword shortbread cookies, Christmas cookies
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill dough and then cool cookies 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Author Dawn - Girl Heart Food


  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp orange zest -from about 1 orange
  • 1.5 cups unsalted butter -cubed, softened (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 Terry's Orange Chocolate -melted (I used dark) and about 156 g of chocolate. See below.
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4-5 Tbsp pistachios -roughly chopped


  • In a mixer combine corn starch, icing sugar, flour, salt, and orange zest, stirring to combine. Add butter and both extracts and blend until combined and dough is soft, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add poppy seeds and blend a minute or so until incorporated. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes until dough firms up a little and is easier to handle (it's soft at this point).
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and shape into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Flatten balls to about 1/4 inch thick with your hand or floured fork.
  • Preheat oven to 300F and bake 20-24 minutes or until edges are slightly golden (these cookies don't get a lot of colour). Cool on wire rack. Depending on the size of your sheet pan, you may have to bake the cookies in batches. Once cooled, dip in melted orange chocolate/butter mixture and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
  • Place on wax paper lined sheet pan and let chocolate harden completely. To speed cooling/hardening of chocolate, place in freezer for about 10 minutes or until chocolate hardened. Remove and enjoy!


To melt orange chocolate, chop, place in a microwave safe bowl with 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter and heat for about 30-45 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate is just melted.
Tried this recipe? That's awesome!Mention @dawn.girlheartfood or tag #girlheartfood