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Chocolate cookies decorated with chocolate on a cooling rack

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

These chocolate shortbread cookies are deliciously buttery with a mild chocolate flavor. They're an easy slice and bake recipe made with just 5 ingredients. Dip them in chocolate for an extra special Christmas cookie!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Chocolate Shortbread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 124kcal


  • 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.


  1. Butter: If using salted butter, remove the salt from the recipe. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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). 
  4. 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. 


Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg