These chocolate shortbread cookies are deliciously buttery with a mild chocolate flavor. They’re an easy slice and bake recipe made with a few simple ingredients. Dip them in chocolate for an extra special Christmas cookie!
Easy, Buttery Chocolate Shortbread
The idea for these chocolate shortbread cookies came a few weeks ago after a reader asked if she could turn my shortbread cookies into chocolate shortbread. Unfortunately, I had to answer that I wasn’t sure – as I had never tried it before. So, after recipe tests, taste tests, and a very messy kitchen – these chocolate shortbread cookies were born.
These shortbread cookies have a mild chocolate flavor that comes from cocoa powder and they are deliciously buttery – just like you’d expect from shortbread. They have a perfectly crisp texture, but melt in your mouth as you take a bite. They definitely aren’t as rich or fudgy as say, my double chocolate cookies, but I think that’s what you’d expect from shortbread.
This dough is formed into a log shape, wrapped in wax paper (or parchment) and chilled in the fridge for at least an hour. Then you’ll slice the log into cookies and bake. What I love about this recipe is that you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to a week before slicing. So they’re great for making ahead of time because shortbread keeps well in an airtight container.
After the cookies are sliced and baked I like to drizzle a little chocolate on top of each cookie, or dip them in chocolate and add a few sprinkles. They’re equally delicious if you prefer them plain though, and are perfect with a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of milk all year long.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- The butter should be softened but not starting to melt.
- Measure the flour carefully, otherwise the cookies can become dry. Measure using a scale (2 cups weighs 250 grams, or 8 ½ ounces). Or if you don’t have a scale, whisk the flour first, then spoon into a dry measuring cup and level off the top.
- Be careful not to overmix the dough, or it can get tough. I always mix in the dry ingredients until they’re about 90% incorporated, and then knead the dough a few times by hand to incorporate the rest.
- You may not quite need all the flour. I typically first mix in 2 cups, minus about 2 tablespoons. If the dough feels sticky, I’ll knead in the rest of the flour. The dough should not stick to your hands.
And for more delicious shortbread recipes, then be sure to try:
- Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
- Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
- Toffee Icebox Cookies
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 grams) softened, but not starting to melt
- 1 cup powdered sugar (120 grams)
- ½ cup cocoa powder (45 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams) you may not need quite a full 2 cups
- 8 ounces dark chocolate (227 grams) or semi-sweet - optional
- Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until combined.
- Sift in the cocoa powder and almost all of the flour (except for about 2 tablespoons). Add in the salt.
- Stir the mixture a few times by hand. Then beat in the dry ingredients starting with the mixer on a low speed.
- When about 90-95% of the dry ingredients are incorporated, dump the dough on a lightly floured surface (including the flour and crumbs at the bottom of the bowl) and knead a few times to incorporate the remaining dry ingredients/crumbs.
- If the dough feels sticky and is sticking to your hand, sprinkle the remaining flour overtop and knead in the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Only knead the dough a few times. Do NOT continue kneading or mixing after the flour is incorporated.
- Form the dough into a tight log about 1.5 inches (3.5-5 cm) in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper or wax paper and twist the ends.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (I prefer at least 2) or up to 1 week.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Unwrap the log and slice the dough using a sharp knife. You want each cookie to be about ¼ inch (⅓ - ½ cm) thick. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time in the preheated oven for approximately 14-16 minutes, or until the tops look set. Keep the remaining unbaked cookies in the fridge so that the dough doesn't get too warm.
- Cool the cookies on the tray for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling
- To melt the chocolate, chop it into very fine pieces (if using a block/bar). Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Microwave on medium power (not high power, which is often standard) for 45-second intervals. Stir between each interval until smooth.
- Dip half of each cookie in chocolate. Alternatively, transfer the chocolate to a piping bag with a small writing tip (or a freezer bag with the corner cut off) and drizzle on top of each cookie. Optionally, decorate with sprinkles. Wait for the chocolate to harden before stacking the cookies.
- Butter: If using salted butter, remove the salt from the recipe.
- Make-Ahead Tips: The log of dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week before baking, as long as its wrapped tightly. To freeze the dough, form it into 2 logs (about 1.5 inches in diameter). Wrap each log in parchment or wax paper and twist the edges. Place in resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, preheat the oven. Let the logs sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes, then slice using a sharp knife. The cookies will need an extra 1-2 minutes to bake.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze cookies for up to 2 months (ensure they're fully cooled first).
- Nutrition: Nutrition details are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming that the recipe yields 36 equal-sized cookies, with chocolate on top.