These chocolate shortbread cookies might look simple, but they’re rich, buttery, and chocolatey, with just a hint of cinnamon. Better still, they’re a cinch to make!
Easy Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread is one of the simple pleasures of baking. Not only is the rich, buttery flavor irresistible, but shortbread recipes tend to use ingredients most bakers are likely to have in their kitchen already. Which means you can make shortbread anytime the craving hits!
These chocolate shortbread cookies add cocoa powder to classic shortbread for a cookie that chocolate lovers will appreciate. This recipe has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and whenever I make it, the shortbread bars always disappear quickly!
While many shortbread recipes start with cold butter, this one calls for softened butter. This means you can mix the dough with an electric mixer rather than by hand, making it easier than a traditional shortbread.
Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Shortbread Recipe
While I’m a big fan of traditional shortbread, this chocolate shortbread recipe holds a special place in my heart too. Here’s why I think you’ll love it just as much:
- Perfect buttery texture. Every bite of this chocolate shortbread is rich, tender, and filled with cocoa and cinnamon flavor.
- Super easy. This shortbread recipe is made with simple ingredients, and the process takes just 1 hour, with only 20 minutes of prep work.
- Great for any occasion. You could make this shortbread during the holidays or just because! It’s really up to you.
What You’ll Need
As promised, these are all simple ingredients that you probably have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter – Let the butter soften before you start the recipe by allowing it to sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
- All-purpose flour – Measure your flour by weight for the best results. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, then use the spoon and sweep method.
- Dutch-process cocoa powder – This has a milder, less acidic flavor than natural cocoa powder.
- Ground cinnamon – You can omit the cinnamon if you prefer, but I love the way it complements the chocolate flavor of this shortbread.
- Salt – Feel free to use whichever kind of salt you like best (sea salt, etc.).
- Baking soda – To add just a little bit of lift.
- Sugar – This recipe calls for both granulated sugar and superfine sugar. Here’s how to make superfine sugar.
How to Make Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread tends to be easy to make, and this recipe is no exception. Use high-quality ingredients and follow the recipe to the letter and you can’t go wrong!
- Prepare. Preheat your oven to 325ºF and line a 12×8-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, letting it hang over the two opposite sides.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
- Finish the dough. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and sugar in a second mixing bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Chill the dough. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Refrigerate it for about 15 minutes, or until firm.
- Bake the shortbread. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then bake the shortbread for about 20 minutes, or until firm.
- Cut and decorate. While the shortbread is still hot, cut it into 4×1-inch pieces using a pizza cutter or large knife. Sprinkle the tops of the shortbread cookies with granulated sugar, covering them completely. Let the cookies cool in the pan, then serve or store them.
Tips for Success
This chocolate shortbread is fairly straightforward, but here are a few tips to make sure it turns out perfectly.
- Measure the ingredients accurately. Use a kitchen scale to measure them by weight, if possible. Otherwise, use the spoon-and-sweep method for the best results.
- About the pan size… Small jellyroll pans often measure 12″ x 8″, but a quarter sheet pan will work if that’s what you have. The cookies will just be slightly longer and not quite as thick.
- Don’t skip the refrigerator time. Chilling the dough will help your shortbread achieve its best flavor and texture.
- For clean slices, use a sharp knife, a pizza cutter, or a sharp bench scraper. Also, if you use the parchment paper to lift the shortbread onto a cutting board, cutting them will be much easier.
Substitutions & Recipe Variations
Keeping the proportions in this recipe intact is important, but there are a few things you can do to jazz these shortbread cookies up!
- Mix in extract. Instead of adding in cinnamon, you could add in vanilla extract (or orange extract if you like a little bit of citrus flavor).
- Add in zest. Also feel free to add orange zest!
- Dip them in chocolate. Dipping your chocolate shortbread cookies in melted chocolate is a great idea! You can even add chopped nuts on top as decoration, if you like.
How to Store
Chocolate shortbread will last about 4 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also store them in an airtight container in the fridge to extend their shelf life to a week.
Can I Freeze Chocolate Shortbread?
Yes, shortbread freezes beautifully! Place the shortbread cookies in a freezer bag or airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper if necessary. Freeze for up to 3 months; when you’re ready to enjoy them, let the shortbread thaw on the countertop at room temperature.
More Shortbread Recipes
If you’re looking for more easy shortbread recipes, you’re in the right place!