This easy Chocolate Shortbread Cookie recipe comes together with just six simple ingredients and tastes absolutely amazing. If you love butter and chocolate and are looking for a cookie that has a delicious melt-in-your-mouth texture then these delicious shortbread cookies are perfect for you.
This delicious shortbread cookie will keep for weeks when stored properly and you can make the dough well in advance for on-demand treats and for your holiday baking. Plus they are great year-round cookies and are one of my family's favorite cookies for the holiday season.
This cookie is the base recipe for my Chocolate Shortbread Sandwich Cookie recipe. And if you love shortbread as I do then try my Chocolate Orange Shortbread Cookies and my favorite Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies.
Why This Recipe Tastes So Good
If you’re looking for a buttery tender chocolate shortbread recipe that holds its shape then this is the cookie for you. Using the classic shortbread cookie ratio of 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, and 1 part granulated sugar ensures a cookie that is tender, but still slightly crumbly the way a shortbread cookie should be. The amount of flour is adjusted for the addition of the cocoa so the cookie isn’t dry. Good quality butter ensures a delicious buttery taste with just the right amount of sugar for sweetness. The final cookie is tender, slightly crumbly, and absolutely delicious.
What You'll Need for This Recipe
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these buttery chocolate shortbread cookies:
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour. The flour provides the structure for the cookie and ensures that it holds its shape.
- Dutch-Processed Cocoa: Use dutch-processed cocoa for this cookie instead of natural cocoa for the best results. DP cocoa has a more intense chocolatey flavor which is why I’ve used it in these cookies. It’s important to sift the cocoa to remove the lumps and ensure it mixes in with the other ingredients
- Unsalted Butter. Butter adds flavor and produces a nice tender cookie. You can use salted butter, but don't add the additional salt that the recipe calls for. It's also important to use good quality butter that tastes good. Make sure to use room-temperature butter for the best texture and to ensure the dough comes together.
- Sugar. Granulated sugar produces nice crisp edges and helps with the light browning on the bottom edge of the cookie.
- Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon tastes great with chocolate.
- Kosher Salt: The salt bumps up the flavor of all the other ingredients.
How to Make Chocolate Shortbread
Place the flour in a large bowl and sift the cocoa on top of the flour. Whisk the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined.
Weigh the sugar, butter, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use an electric hand mixer) and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is creamy about 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add all the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix on medium-low speed until the flour is mixed in and the dough starts to come together. The dough will initially have a crumbly texture but eventually, come together into large pieces after a few minutes. Mixing the flour in at low speed is important to prevent the development of too much gluten.
Pour the shortbread dough onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to lightly knead the dough until it forms a uniform mass. With a rolling pin roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness.
Use a 2-inch square cookie cutter (or your favorite cookie cutters) to cut out the cookies and reroll the dough scraps to cut out the remaining cookies.
Chill the unbaked shortbread cookies for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 days before baking. If storing the cookies for a few hours or two days cover the cookies with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake the cookies at 300 degrees F. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool briefly on the baking pan then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
How to Make the Chocolate Glaze
This buttery chocolate glaze is perfect on these chocolate shortbread cookies but is completely optional.
To make the glaze combine dark bittersweet chocolate with butter in a small bowl and place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Whisk the melted chocolate and butter together once everything is melted. Pour the chocolate glaze into a measuring glass or cup with enough depth that will allow you to dip the cookies into the glaze. Let the glaze cool for 10 minutes.
Dip the cookies in the warm glaze then place the cookies on wax paper or parchment paper and allow them to dry.
How to Store Shortbread Cookies
Without the chocolate glaze store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Shortbread cookies keep remarkably well, so they can be enjoyed for a long period of time. These cookies also ship well if you want to send them to friends and family.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Weigh the ingredients. The ratio of flour, butter, and sugar is the key to the cookies keeping their shape
- Use great-tasting butter. The taste of the butter is very prominent once the cookies are baked so make sure your butter tastes great.
- Bake the cookies on parchment paper instead of Silpat. I noticed that the bottom of the cookies flare out just a little bit when baked on Silpat
- When baking multiple batches, don't place unbaked cookies on a warm baking sheet.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the cookies can be frozen. Cut out the cookie shapes and freeze the cookies in a single layer. Once the cookies are frozen, place them in a freezer bag and store them for up to 2 months.
The baked cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to two (2) weeks.
If your cookies spread then there may have been either too little flour or too much butter in your dough. The other reason is that the dough may have been too warm when you put them in the oven.
If you make these delicious chocolate shortbread cookies please leave a rating and a comment below. And if you would like to be notified of the latest recipes, subscribe to the Baking Newsletter.
If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Shortbread Cookie
- 312 grams (2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 21 grams (1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
- 227 grams (1 cup ) unsalted butter room temperature
- 113 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate chopped into large pieces
- 1/2 cup (113 grams )unsalted butter room temperature
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Place the flour and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and sift the cocoa powder into the flour. Whisk these ingredients together for 30 seconds.
- Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add all the flour-cocoa mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to low speed and mix until all the flour is just combined. The dough will be crumbly at this point. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the dough has completely come together.
- Turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured surface. You can turn it out onto a large piece of parchment paper or Silpat. Use your hands to shape the dough into a rectangle and lightly flour the top of the dough. Do not use too much flour, just enough to keep the rolling pin from sticking.
- Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2-inch square cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place the cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet about 1/2-inch apart. Prick each cookie in the center with a fork. Pricking the cookies will ensure they bake in the center and rise evenly.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Chilling the dough will help the cookies hold their shape when baking.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes. The cookies will still be a little soft but will firm up as the cool.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a wire rack to completely cool.
Chocolate Glaze (Optional)
- Combine 4 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 1/2 cup unsalted butter in a small bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water with the heat turned to low. Melt the chocolate and butter together. Once the butter is melted and most of the chocolate is melted whisk the chocolate glaze until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Pour the chocolate glaze into a measuring cup of drinking glass so the glaze is deep enough where you can dip up to half the cookie in the glaze. Let the glaze cool for about 10 minutes.
Add the Glaze to the Cookies
- Line a baking sheet or cutting board with parchment paper. Dip up to half the cooled cookies in the chocolate glaze and then lay the cookies on the parchment paper. Let the glaze dry for 90 minutes before serving the cookies.
- The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 weeks without the chocolate glaze. With the chocolate glaze the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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