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Chocolate Shortbread Fingers

These Chocolate Shortbread Fingers might look simple, but they’re rich, buttery, and chocolatey, with just a hint of cinnamon. Better still, they’re also a cinch to make! 

Chocolate Shortbread stacked on a white plate

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 Fingers add cocoa powder to classic shortbread for a cookie 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.

overhead view of ingredients for chocolate shortbread

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 by weight for best results. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, then spoon and sweep.
  • 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
  • Baking soda
  • Superfine sugar – Here’s how to make superfine sugar.
  • Granulated sugar
Chocolate shortbread fingers stacked on a plate set on a cooling rack

How to Make Chocolate Shortbread Fingers

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 two opposite sides.

Mix dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. 

overhead view of shortbread dough 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. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Chill. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until firm.

overhead view of Chocolate Shortbread dough in a baking pan after being pierced with fork

Bake. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then bake the shortbread for about 20 minutes, or until firm.

overhead view of Chocolate Shortbread in a baking pan

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 fingers with granulated sugar, covering it completely. Cool in the pan, then serve or store.

overhead view of Chocolate Shortbread on a wire rack after dusting with sugar

Tips for Success

These Chocolate Shortbread Fingers are fairly straightforward, but here are a few tips to make sure they turn out perfect.

  • Measure accurately. Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight, if possible. Otherwise, use the spoon-and-sweep method for 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. If you use the parchment paper to lift the shortbread onto a cutting board, cutting them will be much easier.
Chocolate shortbread fingers lined up on a wire rack

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 This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, shortbread freezes beautifully! Place the shortbread fingers 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, let the shortbread thaw on the countertop at room temperature.

Chocolate Shortbread on a white plate on a wire rack

Chocolate Shortbread Fingers

Yield 24 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

These sweet, simple Chocolate Shortbread Fingers are always a hit!

Chocolate Shortbread stacked on a white plate

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (339g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 & 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 & 1/2 tablespoons (24g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • heaping 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (190g) superfine sugar*
  • granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 12″x 8″ rimmed baking sheet or quarter sheet pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over two opposite sides.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  4. Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for about 15 minutes or until firm.
  5. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for about 20 minutes or until firm.
  6. While still hot, cut into 4″x1″ pieces. (A pizza cutter works wonderfully for this.)
  7. Sprinkle the top of the shortbread with granulated sugar, covering completely. Cool completely in the pan.

Notes

*If you don’t have superfine sugar, process granulated sugar in a food processor for 15 seconds. Read more here: How to Make Superfine Sugar

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.

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    14 Comments on “Chocolate Shortbread Fingers”

  1. I need to make those! I’ve been looking for a good chocolate shortbread recipe as I have a request for them, but sadly, I don’t have this book, I’ll have to see if the library does.

  2. These sounds like they would be the perfect goody. I love Martha!

  3. I’ve had a shortbread recipe on my counter for WEEKS. Maybe MONTHS. This, however, will replace it. Because chocolate always wins. Always.

  4. Hi!

    I left you a comment on Flickr – couldn’t resist to do it here too. 😀

    These look so delicious. I think they’re a great Xmas gift!

  5. I nominated you for a food blog award:
    http://wellfed.net/category/food-blog-awards/

    I hope you don’t mind!

  6. Thanks, everyone! These really are some kind of good. And thanks, Rachel, for nominating me! Very exciting!

  7. These are really good. The amazing thing is that there are no wet ingredients yet the cookies are moist.

  8. I couldn’t find an email address for you. But I wanted to let you know that I made this recipe and posted about it as part of a roundup for holiday cookie recipes.

    They are even better than advertised. They may be one of my all time favorite cookies. Thanks so much for posting them!

  9. These are definitely yummy. Glad you liked them! FYI, my email is on my “about” page.

  10. I just made these about two hours ago. Well, I made my own version – no mixer, no superfine sugar and no food processor, no unsalted butter, no baking sheet anywhere near the correct size – had to tweak the process a bit, but they’re still absolutely wonderful…nowhere near as pretty as yours, but wonderful.

  11. Wow, I like a baker who’s not afraid to tweak! So glad you liked them!

  12. I made these for the first time in December 2019.  Everyone loved them!!  They are easy and delicious, and a nice addition to my Christmas cookie platter.😀👍

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