Chocolate Shortbread Cookies – They are crisp and tender, richly chocolatey and buttery, with the perfect balance of sweetness. And when dipped in a dark chocolate finish they become a sophisticated cookie with exceptional flavor!
Easy Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate shortbread is made from a simple cookie dough using minimal staple ingredients and it blends together quickly in a mixer. The dough is rolled into log shapes then chilled, after that it’s just cut into slices and baked.
It’s an easy cookie with a decadent flavor upgrade to traditional shortbread.
In other words if shortbread hasn’t really been a cookie you care for these chocolate shortbread cookies will have you thinking again. There’s nothing boring about them!
And you can even add extra flavors to make things even more interesting. Chocolate and peppermint, for example, is a beautiful combo and perfect for the holidays.
Chocolate Shortbread Recipe Ingredients
- All-purpose flour: I use unbleached all-purpose flour.
- Cocoa powder: Regular unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa both work well here. Dutch will give richer flavor. Sift after measuring if it’s clumpy.
- Salt: This balances out the flavors.
- Unsalted butter: Bring butter to cool room temp before using so it blends smoothly.
- Powdered sugar: This makes the shortbread tender. Granulated sugar is not recommended as a substitute.
- Vanilla extract: This complements the flavor of the chocolate, a fair amount is used.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: An optional ingredient if you want a chocolate dipped finish. Use good quality chocolate bars.
How to Make Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Whisk dry ingredients: In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add vanilla: Scrape down bowl then blend in vanilla extract.
- Blend mixtures: Add flour mixture and blend on low speed until it comes together in clumps (it will look sandy at first) then increase speed slightly and mix until dough comes together.
- Shape dough into two logs: Knead dough a few times by hand then divide into two equal portions.
- Compress and roll each portion into a 5 1/2-inch log.
- Chill dough: Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
- Heat oven: During last 15 minutes of chilling preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut into slices: Remove one log of dough from fridge and cut into 1/3-inch thick slices. Align on baking sheet spacing 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake through: Bake in center of preheated oven until set, about 11 to 13 minutes.
- Let cool: Cool on pan 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Dip Cookies in Chocolate
- I recommend using tempered chocolate if you don’t want the cookies to bloom (white flecks or streaks) and you want the chocolate to return to it’s original textural state (and not melt so easily).
- To temper chocolate you can do it on the stovetop or in the microwave. You’ll need an instant read food thermometer if you want to temper it. Here is a guide on how to do it.
- If you don’t care to temper the chocolate simple heat the chopped chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 20 to 30 second intervals, stirring well between each until melted and smooth.
- Dip the cooled cookies halfway into the melted chocolate then lift and shake excess chocolate off. Transfer to parchment paper to allow chocolate to set.
- Peppermint: Use the Dutch cocoa option. Add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and use only 1 tsp vanilla extract. Dip in white chocolate or dark chocolate and cover with crushed candy canes.
- Coconut: Add 1 tsp coconut extract with 1 tsp vanilla extract. Sprinkle chocolate coated cookies with fine coconut.
- Nuts: Sprinkle chopped nuts over chocolate coating. Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts are all good choices.
- Oreo: Use the Dutch cocoa option. Make Oreo-like cookies by adding a vanilla buttercream filling to the center of the cookies.
- Orange: Orange zest or orange extract would be a tasty flavor addition as well. Who doesn’t love that chocolate orange combo?
Storage and Shelf Life
- Store cookies in an airtight container.
- They should keep for about 1 week at room temperature or 3 months frozen.
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Chocolate Shortbead Cookies
Optional chocolate coating
- 10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, melted*
- In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down bowl then blend in vanilla extract.
- Add flour mixture and blend on fairly low speed until it comes together in clumps (it will look sandy at first) then increase speed slightly and mix until dough comes together.
- Knead dough a few times by hand then divide into two equal portions.
- Compress and roll each portion into a 5 1/2-inch log. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
- During last 15 minutes of chilling preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove one log of dough from fridge and cut into 1/3-inch thick slices. Align on baking sheet spacing 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake in center of preheated oven until cookies are set, about 11 to 13 minutes.
- Cool on pan 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack, leave parchment paper on pans.
- Once cool, working with one cookie at a time dip half into melted chocolate, shake and let excess chocolate run back into bowl (can scrape bottom of cookie along edge of bowl to remove some chocolate so it's not too thick of a layer). Transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment and let chocolate set.
- If desired you can finish with sprinkles but add these shortly after dipping in chocolate before it begins to set an harden. If you used tempered chocolate to dip cookies let the chocolate set at room temperature if you used untempered chocolate let the chocolate coated cookies set in the fridge.
- To melt chocolate you can melt in a double boiler or in the microwave in a microwave safe dish in 30 second intervals at 50% power. Stir well between each until melted and smooth. For chocolate that doesn't bloom follow a tempering method such as this.
- For peppermint chocolate shortbread use 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Sprinkle melted chocolate finish with crushed candy canes.