There’s nothing I love more than the smell of cookies baking in the oven around Christmas time, it takes over the entire house and instantly makes everything feel cozy and calm.

Shortbread Cookies with Black Sesame and Orange Zest may sound fancy and even a little complicated, but I promise, they aren’t! This is a great recipe to have on hand during the holidays because shortbread lends itself to all kinds of delicious mix-ins. For this recipe, I chose to add black sesame seeds and orange zest for a burst of flavor. Right from the start, the smell of orange zest mixed into the dough is so fragrant. When the cookies are done, they taste amazing – buttery with a hint of citrus and the black sesame gives it a little savory crunch. But there are a lot of other ways you could go: vanilla and cocoa nibs, earl grey and lemon zest or simply adding some toasted almonds. You can also try making all of them for an assorted cookie tin for neighbors, family and friends!

My favorite part about this recipe though is that your kids can help you with it — invite them into the kitchen to stamp out fun shapes with cookie cutters. It’s a nice way to spend time as a family and slow things down a bit during the hectic holidays!

Shortbread cookie dough
Shortbread cookies with orange zest and black sesame seeds by Farm to Table Family

You can find more of Patricia’s recipes on her YouTube channel, Farm to Table Family. The video series focuses on bringing the family together through healthy, tasty and beautiful foods. The recipes are modern takes on traditional favorites inspired by the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients. Patricia is also the founder of Farm to Table Baby Mama, a site that provides babies and children with delicious foods that are fresh, tasty, organic and made with love.

Recipe: Shortbread Cookies with Orange Zest and Black Sesame Seeds

  • Prep Time: 45 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 10 min(s)
  • Total Time: 55 min(s)

Try this interesting twist on traditional shortbread cookies. Kids can help make them, too.


  • ¾ pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 ½ teaspoons black sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the over to 350F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment.
  3. Sift flour and salt into butter and sugar mixture. Mix together until the dough forms.
  4. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour.
  5. Shape into a flat disc.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  7. Once properly chilled, roll dough out into a ½ inch thick square. Cut out fun shapes with cookie cutter.
  8. Place cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.

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