blood orange cookie bars

blood orange cookie bars

ive been known to put citrus on just about everything. I have such an affinity for that burst of tart, fresh flavor. now, pair that with sugar and butter and its game over. these blood orange cookie bars combine some of my hands down favorite flavors and textures. they’re already a family favorite. read on to find out why!

in a few words, these cookie bars are:

  • buttery
  • chewy
  • sweet
  • tart
  • fresh
  • bright
  • hint of floral herbs
  • gorgeous
  • little bites of sunshine
  • so much fun to eat!

short + sweet ingredient list

these blood orange citrus bars are made with pantry basics and a couple of special upgrades

from these ingredients you will make the cookie bars and blood orange glaze.

special baking tools

you can make most of the recipe by hand mixing. however, these tools are my go to for the easiest preparation:
  • electric citrus juicer
    • this is the one ive used for years
    • its a must for extracting all the juice from fresh citrus
  • zester
  • small or medium sauce pan
    • to reduce the blood orange juice
  • stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
  • 8X8 metal pan
  • parchment paper
  • icing spatula
    • makes spreading the glaze so easy
blood orange cookie bar

tips, tricks + swaps for the best blood orange cookie bars

substitutes for this recipe:

  • almond flour: use 1/4 c + 1 tbsp all purpose flour (38g)
    • the almond flour bring a nice chewy texture to the cookies
    • by subbing with AP flour, the cookies will be less chewy
  • earl grey tea: this pairs incredibly well with citrus
    • it brings a nice floral contrast to the tart and sweet flavors
    • omit if you don’t want to use
  • blood orange: use another in season citrus, but know:
    • the gorgeous pink color comes only from the blood orange
    • Meyer lemon would work really well here, too
  • egg yolk: this is for chewiness
    • omit, but know the cookie will be less chewy
    • similar to a crumbly, crisp shortbread
  • butter: to make this dairy free or vegan,
blood orange cookie bar
tips for this recipe:
  • make sure all cold ingredients are room temperature
  • don’t over mix the cookie dough
    • mix until just combined
    • incorporate any stray pieces of dough with your hands
  • line the pan with parchment paper (click here to see how)
  • press dough into the sides + corners of the pan first
    • work your way to the center
  • reduce the blood orange juice
    • for a very light pink glaze, this isn’t needed
    • to get the deep pink color, you must reduce the juice
    • 2 tbsp of juice will be needed for 3/4 c -1 c of powdered sugar
  • allow 60-90 minutes for the glaze to fully set

blood orange cookie bar
blood orange cookie bar
blood orange cookie bar
blood orange cookie bar

other citrus recipes to love

blood orange cookie bars

blood orange cookie bars

these blood orange cookie bars have an earl grey and citrus laced, buttery, shortbread-esque cookie base. the cookies are topped with a reduced blood orange glaze that brings a gorgeous pop of color! these tart, citrusy bites of sugary sunshine will most definitely bring a smile to your face!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Celebrations, Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 8X8 metal pan
  • parchment paper
  • medium sauce pan


earl grey citrus cookie base

  • 1 3/4 c (210g) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c (32-37g) almond flour see notes
  • 1-2 earl grey loose leaf tea bags see notes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c (200g) granulated sugar
  • zest of one medium blood orange
  • 1 c (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (18g) large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract

reduce blood orange glaze

  • 1/2 c (118ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • 3/4 -1 c (90-120g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
    Line a 8X8 pan with parchment paper along the bottom up the sides and with a 1-2" overhang. This makes it easier to left the cookies out of the pan without breaking them. My preferred way to do this is to measure out/cut a piece of parchment to fit from one side to the opposite side. If you want, you can repeat to fit the exposed sides of the pan.
  • Whisk the flours, salt and loose leaf tea from the tea bag(s) together until well combined.
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment/ hand mixer with beaters/ by hand grind the sugar and blood orange zest together until a wet, sand like texture appears.
  • Add butter to the orange sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, beating each one on low for about 20 seconds before adding the next.
  • Add the dry ingreidents to the wet and mix by hand or on the lowest setting until JUST combined. While the dough is still in the bowl, use your hands to incorporate any stray pieces that didn't get worked into the dough.
    Starting at the edges, working in to the center, evenly press the dough into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the dough in a 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown. The center will look lighter – more a light golden brown.
    Remove the baked cookies from the oven to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes.
  • While the cookie bars are cooling, make the blood orange glaze:
    Pour the blood orange juice in a small or medium sauce pan. Over medium high heat, reduce the juice to ~2 tbsp. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Cool to touch, about 10-15 minutes.
    Whisk the reduce orange juice with the powdered sugar and extract. Add more sugar if desired to make a thicker glaze. Keep it thinner for drizzling on top of the cookies.
  • For cookie bars like the photos: Using the slings, carefully lift the cookie out of the pan. Cut the cookie into your preferred size and shape. Gently push the cookies back into roughly the same place. Using the slings, place the whole (cut) cookie base back into the pan. Pour the glaze over the top. Carefully and gently smooth the glaze across the top. Allow the glaze to fully set, about 60-90 minutes. Using the slings, remove the cookie bars from the pan. Cut along the precut edges and enjoy!
    For dipped cookies: Using the slings, carefully lift the cookie out of the pan. Cut the cookie into your preferred size and shape. Dip or drizzle the glaze along one side of the cookie. Place the cookie on a cooling rack to drip any excess and to fully set, about 60-90 minutes.
    For drizzled cookies: Using the slings, carefully lift the cookie out of the pan. Cut the cookie into your preferred size and shape. Drizzle the glaze on top. Allow the glaze to fully set on the cookies for about 60 minutes.


almond flour: the weight of 1/3 c can range depending on the brand you use. the easiest way to figure out the weight for the brand of almond flour you have it to look on the back. most have the weight for 1/4 c. multiply this number by 4. now divide the total by 3. this will tell you the weight of the flour you are using. 
almond flour sub: use 1/4 c + 1 tbsp all purpose flour (38g) in place of the almond flour. the almond flour gives the cookies a nice chewiness, so keep it if you can! 
earl grey tea: the flavor of this loose leaf tea pairs really nicely with the bolder citrus flavors of the blood orange. I use a store bought tea meant for steeping. simply cut open a tea bag and pour the contents into the dry ingredients. use your preferred tea blend or omit (although I encourage you to try with the tea).
1 tea bag gave a nice background flavor. 2 tea bags will match the heavy citrus flavor. 
Keyword blood orange cookies, chewy shortbread cookies, earl grey cookies
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

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4 thoughts on “blood orange cookie bars

    1. Hi Sadi, I would omit or replace with more zest. It’s up to you! there will be plenty of citrus flavor from the glaze.

    1. Ceramic pans bake differently than metal pans. I would make sure to check for the signs the cookies are done. Let me know how it goes for you!

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