This is an absolutely delicious chocolate shortbread that I like to cut in a traditional bar shape.

Simple for everyday but tastes elegant enough for any cookie tray.

It is buttery and sweet with a touch of bitterness that cocoa brings with a pinch of salt.  

Add an orange glaze and you have hit all of the taste buds.

The cookie itself is not too sweet and a good sprinkle of fine sugar on top before baking brings out a sweet chocolate flavour.  Vanilla is added as well.

If you need it to keep its shape better, like for rolling out and cutting shapes, add another 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, but of course it will be less buttery.

chocolate shortbread perfect with milk
The chocolate shortbread dough can also be formed into a log shape and cut. 

Miniature chocolate chips are optional here, or sweetened cacao nibs for something a little stronger and to amplify the antioxidants. They are crunchy and full of minerals like manganese and magnesium as well.

two shapes of chocolate shortbread

How to Make Chocolate Shortbread

 INGREDIENTS

Makes about 50 cookies

Prep time: 40 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Refrigeration time: 1 hour

 

 

  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
  • 1 cup (130g) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cold strong coffee, optional
  • 1½ (190g) all purpose flour  
  • ½ cup (50g) cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkling on top. Superfine or Fruit sugar is nice
  • ¾ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips or sweetened cacao nibs, also optional
ingredients for chocolate shortbread
Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Set that aside.
sift dry ingredients for chocolate shortbread first
2. Beat the butter for about a minute until smooth. 

3. Starting on low speed, add the icing sugar until combined, then beat together on medium speed for about a minute.

4. Beat in the vanilla, and the coffee.

gradually adding icing sugar
beat in a teaspoon of vanilla
5. Mix in half of the flour mixture well, then stir in the rest by hand or with a mixer on low speed, bringing the dough together, but not overmixing.  Don’t whip it.

Add the chocolate pieces if you are using them, stirring in by hand.

mix in half of the dry ingredients
blending in flour on low speed
mix on low speed or by hand
scraping the bowl often
6. Press the dough between plastic wrap or parchment to flatten, sort of kneading it, to bring the dough together.

7. Roll it out between plastic wrap or non stick parchment, about ⅓” (1cm) thick.

If you need to add flour because you are not using parchment or wrap, use as little as possible, or use a bit of icing sugar or cocoa powder.

After it is rolled out, slide it onto a tray and refrigerate until firm.  Even just half an hour.  It will be much easier to cut.

 

8. Remove from the fridge.

Peel off the top covering, replace it, then flip the dough over and peel off the other side.

This will make it a bit easier to remove the cookies after cutting.  

So will making sure the dough is cold.  You should be able to lift it with no problems if it is solid.

flatten the chocolate shortbread dough
roll the chocolate shortbread dough
refrigerate the shortbread dough
carefully peel the plastic or parchment away
9. Mark the shortbread dough 1”x2” (2.5x5cm).  Or whatever size you want really.  I chose a large domino. 

I found that if I cut them all the way through, then docked them, the cookies sometimes pulled up.  Not a big deal, just bothered me a bit.

 

10. Dock the pieces with a fork for a traditional look, but the purpose is to keep them flat.  Like docking a pie crust before baking.

11. Now cut all the way through.  

You could also form it into a log shape, instead of rolling out flat, kneading as you go to press out any air, which will leave holes.  Refrigerate for about an hour before making 1 cm (⅓ inch) slices.

12. Sprinkle with sugar before baking or glaze it after with an orange icing which is a nice contrast on the dark chocolate.

measure and mark the shortbread
dock the shortbread with a fork
Sprinkle sugar over the chocolate shortbread before baking
transfer the shortbread to prepared baking tray
form the chocolate shortbread into a log shape

You can also form into a log shape, refrigerate, and slice.  Roll in sugar if you would like.

Bake 325°F (160°C) for about 15 minutes.

Leave on the cookie sheets and let cool completely.

Chocolate Shortbread

These are buttery and sweet with a touch of bitterness that cocoa brings and a pinch of salt.

  Prep Time:  40 minutes

  Refrigeration Time: 1 hour

Baking Time:15 minutes

  Yield: About 50

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
  • 1 cup (130g) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cold strong coffee, optional
  • 1½ (190g) all purpose flour  
  • ½ cup (50g) cocoa 
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Sugar for sprinkling on top
  • ¾ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips or sweetened cacao nibs, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with baking parchment or silicone baking mat.

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Set that aside.  
  2. Beat the butter for about a minute until smooth.
  3. On low speed, add the icing sugar until combined. Beat together on medium speed for about a minute.
  4. Beat in the vanilla and coffee.
  5. Mix in half flour mixture well, then stir in the rest by hand or with a mixer on low speed, bringing the dough together, but not overmixing, and don’t whip it.

    Mix in chocolate chips if using.

     

  6. Roll the dough between plastic wrap or parchment 1 cm (⅓ inch) thick.
  7. Refrigerate until firm, at least half an hour.
  8. Mark into bars or squares 1”x2” (2.5x5cm).
  9. Dock the dough using a fork, then cut the cookies all the way through.
  10. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 325°F (160°C) 15 minutes.

Leave on the cookie sheets and let cool completely.