Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
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Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are a simple cookie recipe that has the best buttery texture! Shortbread is easy to make, and you can enjoy the cookies plain or dressing them up with chocolate and decorations. These are the perfect cookies for the holiday season because they keep well at room temperature and are freezer-friendly!

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Stack of chocolate shortbread cookies on a metal cooling rack

I love homemade shortbread! I love to make it, share it, and, of course, eat it myself because I cannot resist the melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s perfection. 

I also love shortbread cookies because they are endlessly adaptable. These chocolate shortbread cookies are one of my favorites. They’re so simple, but they have the most amazing chocolaty, buttery flavor. It’s hard to eat just one! 

Why You’ll Love My Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

  • This is an easy recipe! If you’ve never made shortbread from scratch, you will love it. They’re cocoa shortbread cookies, so there’s hardly any prep. Just measure your ingredients and mix.
  • It’s a slice and bake shortbread recipe. No rolling pin or cookie cutters are required. But, of course, if you want to make cutout cookies, I am sharing tips so you can!
  • I can eat these just as they are, but I love to make chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies for the holidays. So, be sure to check out all of my tips for dressing them up.

You’ll see – when you give this recipe a try. I think you’ll agree that it’s the best shortbread cookie recipe in the world.

Stack of chocolate shortbread cookies with top cookie cut in half

Ingredients in Chocolate Shortbread

Butter – I used salted because many traditional shortbread recipes start with salted butter. If you’re using unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon salt to the recipe.

Powdered sugar – I prefer powdered over granulated in shortbread – it keeps them soft!

Unsweetened cocoa powder – You can use regular, dark or dutch process.

Vanilla extract – Adds tons of flavor!

All-purpose flour – Be sure to measure it correctly!

How to Make Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

  1. Place the butter and sugar in a very large bowl and cream them until the mixture is fluffy and creamy.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the cocoa powder and vanilla. Then, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again.
  3. Add flour to the bowl and mix until the dough is smooth. Scrape the sides and especially the bottom of the bowl once while mixing to ensure everything is mixed thoroughly.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on your work surface and place the dough on it. Form the dough into a log and then wrap it in the plastic wrap to form it into a uniform size. The length of the log will determine how many cookies you will get from the batch. You can also divide it into two smaller logs for bite-sized cookies.
  5. Chill the dough for at least one hour or until it’s firm. You can also chill it overnight.
  6. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, slice the log into ¼” slices and place them two inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake the chocolate shortbread for 14 to 17 minutes or just until the cookies lose their glossy sheen.
Chocolate shortbread cookie dough wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a glass cup

Tip for Chilling Slice and Bake Cookies

If you place the log on the refrigerator shelf, it will flatten on one side, and you won’t get perfectly round cookies. So, to avoid that, place the log standing up in a tall glass to chill.

How to Dip Shortbread Cookies in Chocolate

The shortbread cookies are great plain, but dipping them in chocolate takes them over the top!

  • Dipping: Melt chocolate chips or chocolate melts following the package instructions. Dip the cookies in the melted chocolate and then place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chill them until the chocolate is set.
  • Drizzling: Instead of dipping, you can also drizzle the chocolate over the top. You can do this with a spoon or filling a resealable bag with the melted chocolate, snip off the corner, and drizzle it that way.
Overhead shot of chocolate shortbread cookies with chocolate icing

For an extra touch, sprinkle finely chopped nuts or sprinkles over the chocolate before it sets.

Chocolate shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles and nuts

Plain, chocolate-dipped, or use these cookies to make the best shortbread sandwich cookies! All you need is some frosting – here are some recipes you can try:

Chocolate shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles and nuts

FAQ

Can I use this recipe for chocolate cutouts?

Yes, it works great for cutouts! Once you’ve made the dough form it into a disc and chill it. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a ¼”. Next, use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Depending on the size of the cookies, the baking time may vary.

When are the cookies done baking?

As the cookies bake, they will develop a glossy sheen that will eventually fade as the moisture evaporates. As soon as that sheen is gone from the tops of the cookies, take them out of the oven.

How should you store shortbread cookies?

Store them in an airtight container. I also recommend separating the layers with parchment paper. They will keep at room temperature for up to four days.

Can chocolate shortbread be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze the baked cookies. Place them in a freezer container with paper towels separating the layers. They will keep for up to three months. Then, thaw them at room temperature – the paper towels will absorb excess moisture, so your cookies taste amazing.

Other Favorite Holiday Cookies

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Chocolate Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are easy to make, and you can enjoy the cookies plain or dressing them up with chocolate and decorations.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield 24 cookies
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) butter (use salted butter, see note)
  • 1 cup (113g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup 20g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups (217g) all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a very large bowl using a hand mixer), until fluffy and creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Mix in cocoa powder and vanilla, then again scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add flour and mix until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl (especially down in the bottom of the stand mixer bowl where things get caught) once during mixing.
  • Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a clean work surface. Scoop the dough onto the plastic and use your hands to form it into a log. Wrap up the log and roll to make into a uniform size. How long your roll is determines how many cookies you’ll get (or if you want small bite size cookies, make two rolls).
  • Chill the rolls at least 1 hour, or until firm, before slicing and baking (or as long as overnight). To help the roll stay round, place it standing up in a tall drinking glass to chill in (this way it won’t flatten on one side).
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Slice log into ¼-inch thick slices and place 2-inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until they just loose their glossy sheen. Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets.
  • See notes for decoration options.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Butter: I used salted because many traditional shortbread recipes start with salted butter. If you’re using unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon salt to the recipe.
  • Variations:
    • Chocolate Dipped Shortbread: Melt 1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate melts (any flavor) according to package directions and dip the cookies in the melted chocolate. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill to set. (Alternately, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies instead of dipping.) You can sprinkle chopped nuts or sprinkles on the melted chocolate to decorate.
    • Sprinkle Shortbread: Before chilling, place 1 cup nonpareils on a large plate. Roll the log in nonpareils and press to adhere. Wrap and chill, then slice and bake, as directed.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate frosting, chocolate shortbread, cookie exchange, holiday cookies, shortbread, shortbread cookies
Chocolate shortbread cookies with sprinkles and recipe title on top of image

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are a simple cookie recipe that has the best buttery texture! These are the best chocolate shortbread cookies for the holiday season because they keep well at room temperature and are freezer-friendly!

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