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Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Recipe: Easy Shortbread Recipe

This Chocolate Shortbread Cookie recipe is a simple but wonderful bar cookie that’s a slight variation on classic shortbread.  

The bars call upon the traditional ingredient ratio in shortbread, with one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts white flour. But this recipe also includes cocoa in the dough and a bit of chocolate drizzle … with a rich, chocolately result.

Why “shortbread”? The name comes from old baking lingo, when “short” meant a “short texture” – that is sandy cookie dough which produces a crisp cookie, rather than a flaky, chewy cookie. The secret to “short” texture is in using warm, soft butter, which coats the flour to prevent long strands of gluten from forming. Shorter strands of gluten produce a crisper texture … hence, “shortbread.”

Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Recipe from The Cookie Elf

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 35-40 minutes

Makes about 3-5 dozen slices


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Chocolate Drizzle

4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 teaspoon solid shortening (like Crisco®)

Directions for Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl continually, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Reduce speed to low. Gradually stir flour mixture into creamed mixture a bit at a time until well blended, scraping the bowl constantly, until well mixed. Dough will be crumbly.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to stir in walnuts by hand.
  6. With floured hands, press the dough into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake cookies for 35-40 minutes.
  8. Remove baking pan from the oven. Cut bars immediately before the cookies begin to cool. Use a sharp knife to score cookies into bars, ¾ inch by 1 ½ inches.
  9. Let shortbread cool completely. Lift ends of parchment paper from the pan. Separate shortbread cookies.
  10. To make the chocolate drizzle, break up baking chocolate into squares. Place it in a quart-sized freezer bag. Add shortening. Microwave 20 seconds on High. Massage sides of freezer bag to mix and loosen chocolate. Repeat until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth. Clip off corner of freezer bag to pipe drizzle onto cooled shortbread. 
  11. Allow chocolate drizzle to set. Use a spatula to remove bars from the pan.
  12. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Special Baking Tips for this Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Recipe

You can score the shortbread before baking. Once you remove the baking pan from the oven, cut shortbread along the same lines for an even cleaner cut.

Save leftover chocolate drizzle to use in another recipe. Scrape extra chocolate towards the lower portion of the bag, fold the bag, place it in a second freezer bag, and store it in the freezer until you need it.

See more shortbread variations on The Elf's Shortbread Pinterest board.

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