These chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies are butttery, melt-in-your mouth morsels of deliciousness. Perfect for your Christmas cookie tray or whenever you need a classic, easy shortbread recipe.
I’ve been making these shortbread cookies for years. In fact – they were the first Christmas cookie recipe I remember making on my own. I found the recipe in a magazine of my Mum’s when I was maybe 12 or 13 – and for years – they were always my addition to the Christmas baking.
I’ve long lost that magazine, so for quite a few years, these shortbread balls went out of the rotation of Christmas cookies. But after a lot of recipe testing, and taste testing, I’ve found the perfect buttery shortbread recipe that holds up to being dipped in chocolate, but is still soft and melts in your mouth.
Whenever making shortbread you want to start with real butter. The majority of the flavor in shortbread comes from butter – so it’s important to use high-quality butter. It should be softened but definitely not melty.
You’ll first start by beating together the butter and sugar. Unlike whipped shortbread cookies – you don’t need to beat the butter and sugar together for too long. Over beating the butter can cause the cookies to spread. You’ll also notice that there isn’t very much sugar in shortbread. Since the butter flavor is so rich, you actually don’t need much sugar.
Then it’s time to beat in the flour and corn starch. I like to use a combination of flour and cornstarch because I find it gives the cookies a softer, more melt-in-your-mouth texture with a finer crumb than using just flour. You want to ensure that all the flour and corn starch gets mixed into the batter, otherwise, the cookies can flatten and spread as they bake. You want the dough to be quite firm to the touch and quite thick.
Then you’ll roll the dough into balls about the size of a ping pong ball, and pop them on a lined cookie sheet to bake.
For the Chocolate Dip
Once the cookies are baked and cooled, then they get dipped in melted chocolate. I like to use a combination of milk and dark chocolate. But you could use whatever kind of chocolate you prefer. I always mix a few drops of oil into the melted chocolate because it gives the chocolate a glossy finish.
You can also add a few holiday sprinkles on top of each cookie if you choose.
Pro Tip: When melting chocolate in the microwave – always microwave on medium power for 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval. Otherwise, the chocolate can burn and get clumpy instead of smooth.
These chocolate dipped shortbread cookies are deliciously buttery, only require a few ingredients, and are perfect for your holiday cookie trays. Make them along with these gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies or chocolate fudge for your Christmas cookie tray!
Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter (3 sticks) - softened but not melted
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 12 oz chocolate, finely chopped milk, dark or semi-sweet - I use 4 oz milk chocolate and 8 oz 50% dark chocolate
- ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil
- holiday sprinkles optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl - sift together the cornstarch and flour.
- Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture about ½ at a time until all the flour is incorporated. If the dough feels sticky, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Form the dough into balls about 2 teaspoons in size (about the size of a ping pong ball) and place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 12-15 minutes or until the tops look set.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl.
- Microwave on medium power for 45 -second intervals, stirring between each interval until melted. Stir in the vegetable oil.
- Dip ½ of each cookie in the melted chocolate (or simply spread the chocolate on half of each cookie with a knife or the back of a spoon, and optionally add a few sprinkles on top of each cookie.