In a small mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer bowl cream together the softened butter and confectioners' sugar by beating on medium speed for 1 minute.
Stir in vanilla bean paste, almond extract, and orange zest.
Add flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into a log shape approximately 7 inches in length.
Wrap each portion in wax paper and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove wax paper and slice dough into 1/2-inch rounds. Do not rush this step! Shortbread dough is naturally crumbly so slice with care.
Onto a baking sheet, arrange slices at least 1-inch apart.
Bake 10 minutes, until firm but not browned. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.