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Ginger shortbread cookies with orange icing, scattered on a baking sheet.

Orange Ginger Shortbread Cookies with Orange Icing

Heather Smoke
These sweet and slightly spicy ginger shortbread cookies are soft and buttery, flavored with both ground ginger and candied ginger, and iced with sweet orange icing.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 26 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings14 cookies



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped candied ginger (or increase the ground ginger to 1 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped candied orange peel (or 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest)
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk


  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 2 ½ tbsp orange juice, warm



  • In a food processor, pulse the flour, powdered sugar, salt, ground ginger, candied ginger and candied orange peel, until the candied ginger and orange peel is finely chopped and evenly distributed.
  • With the processor running, drop the pieces of butter in, pulsing just until distributed.
    Add the vanilla and the milk. Process until the crumbs start to stick together.
  • Dump the dough out onto the counter, and knead a few times to bring it together into a smooth, supple ball of dough with your hands.
  • If you don't have a food processor, you can make this dough with a bowl and pastry cutter. You'll need to cut the butter in with the pastry cutter, then use your hands to work in the cream until you have a smooth dough. It's much easier and quicker with a food processor, though.
  • Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.
  • Lightly flour a clean work surface, and dust the dough with flour as well. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick or slightly thinner. Dip a cookie cutter in flour and cut as many cookies as you can. Gather up the scraps, re-roll the dough, and continue cutting cookies until you've used up all the dough. How many cookies you get will depend on the thickness of your dough and the size of your cookie cutters.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set the cut cookies on the baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. If you have room in your freezer, you can just freeze the pans for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
    Bake the chilled cookies on the center oven rack for about 11 1/2 minutes. They should still be pale in color, with flaky edges, no dark browning, and no appearance of raw wet dough in the middle. If your cookies are larger/thicker, they may need to bake a little longer.
  • Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Set the rack over the baking sheet, and brush the warm cookies with the glaze.


  • In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup and orange juice until smooth.
  • After transferring the warm cookies to a cooling rack, immediately brush the cookies with the glaze, using a pastry brush.
  • Let the cookies cool and the icing set completely before storing.


  • Stamped Cookies:  For stamped cookies, follow the instructions outlined in this post for stamped chocolate shortbread cookies.
  • Make in Advance:  The dough can be made in advance, wrapped well, and refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen for 3-6 months.
  • Storing:  Leftover cookies should be stored in an airtight container for 7-10 days.
Keyword Cookies, Ginger, Orange, Shortbread
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