Friday, December 12, 2014

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling: Orange-Currant Shortbread Buttons

While making my Christmas cookie list this year, I realized my mind had somehow wandered ahead to St. Patrick's Day. I started dreaming of things like chocolate-stout cake, and had visions of soda bread dancing in my head. Since I like making my soda bread with orange zest and currants, I decided to bake them into a cookie for this holiday, too:

orange currant shortbread cookies

Orange-Currant Shortbread Buttons

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dried currants
2 Tablespoons (or so) granulated sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, salt, and orange zest, then blend in the flour. Add the currants and mix until combined. Take about 1/2 Tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into balls, then flatten gently between your hands (buttons should be about 1/4 inch thick and an inch in diameter). Place on lined baking sheets and prick once in the center with a knife or skewer. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if using. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the buttons are set and lightly golden around the edges. Remove, let cool completely, and store in an airtight container.

Notes: The orange zest smells (and tastes) heavenly in these cookies, and the currants add a mellow, chewy sweetness without being overly fruity. The basic dough can also be used as a starting point for your favorite flavors, or left plain for classic, buttery shortbread.



  1. Looks incredibly scrumptious! Now if only Scott would bake them for me :-)

    1. Especially when the recipe and instructions are available right here!! Maybe they'll be in your stocking this morning ;-)


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