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Simple Chocolate Shortbread Bars

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My standard shortbread cookie recipe inspired this chocolate version. I prefer my shortbread biscuits on the less sweet side because they are supposed to have that buttery, crumbly texture. These chocolate variations on my traditional shortbread are equally buttery, flaky, and irresistibly tasty. And bursting with chocolatey goodness. Hence, both chocolate and shortbread lovers can rejoice over this recipe.


  • This is a straightforward recipe for chocolate shortbread that can be prepared in a flash.
  • I also demonstrate my go-to technique for rolling out and shaping the dough with no stickiness and consistently beautiful outcomes.
  • Deliciously buttery and not overly sweet shortbread biscuits—the way shortbread cookies should be!
  • Crispy, chocolate shortbread cookies that don’t spread in the oven.


Making shortbread is not difficult, but there are several tricks to remember for the best results. The cookie dough you create using these guidelines will be simple to prepare, will keep its shape when baked, and will look beautiful.

  • Soft butter at room temperature is ideal. For best results, use butter that has been allowed to soften to room temperature. If you’re trying to soften butter in the cold, you may need to use a different method.
  • Prepare a platter with chunks of butter. Then, heat a big, empty glass bowl in the microwave until it is just warm enough to the touch, then invert it over the butter so that the underside of the bowl is touching the plate. In a matter of minutes, the butter will have softened thanks to the bowl’s residual heat.
  • If you want your cookies to turn out perfectly, use caster sugar. Caster sugar is more refined and has a more pleasant flavour. During the butter-creaming process, it will melt into the butter and provide the greatest flavour possible. If you’re unable to locate caster sugar, I’ve included several suitable substitutes.
  • For the best results, use high-quality cocoa powder. With chocolate as the star ingredient, high-quality cocoa powder is required for these treats. Cacao Barry or Callebaut are my two favourite chocolate brands (which is a dutched cocoa powder). Another excellent choice is Valrhona. The recipe calls for either natural or dutched cocoa powder.
  • It’s important not to overwork the dough. Overworking the gluten will prevent the cookies from crumbling.
  • Make use of my ingenious suggestion and roll out the dough inside a gallon bag. Doing so will keep you from having to add more flour to the dough and will ensure that your cookie slab is uniform in thickness.
  • The dough can be rolled out with less effort and less gluten development if it is allowed to warm to room temperature before being worked.
  • By chilling the dough before shaping and baking, you can prevent the cookies from spreading during baking.


Cacao powder, specifically the Cacao Barry / Callebaut Dutch cocoa powder. This cocoa powder, compared to others I’ve tried, has the best flavour. Make sure you’re a fan of coco powder’s flavour before you create chocolate shortbread biscuits with it.

Generally used flour; I make shortbread with AP flour. Substitute cake flour, but stick to the same quantity (by weight).

Unsalted butter is my go-to for cooking and baking.

What we call “caster sugar” is actually a refined kind of sugar that is even smaller than regular granulated sugar. That butter will absorb it more readily. Don’t worry if you don’t have any caster sugar on hand; confectioner’s sugar will do just fine.

Only a little of salt can work wonders. A pinch of salt can transform a cookie’s flavour from bland to bombastic. In my case, I like to add a bit more because I enjoy both sweet and salty treats.

It is not necessary to melt the chocolate. On top of my chocolate shortbread, I love to add a drizzle of melted chocolate. Basically any kind of chocolate will do. The white chocolate is a welcome contrast to the chocolate-brown cookie. Melted passionfruit callets from Valrhona are a delicious topping, and I highly recommend them. The combination of chocolate and the tartness and sweetness of passionfruit is divine.

Instructions for Baking Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

The Art of Chocolate Shortbread Dough-Making

The first step in making cookie dough is to mix together the butter and sugar. It’s crucial to do this because you want the sugar to totally dissolve in the butter for the butter to become very airy and fluffy. In addition, I like to add the salt at this time so that it can mix into the butter.

A Note of Warning

There is no need to soften the butter beforehand; simply cream it with the sugar. But, if you are like me and live somewhere colder, your butter may not be as soft. In this case, cream the butter first by itself.

Butter and sugar need time to be creamed together. Thus, wait until the butter is frothy and the sugar is mostly dissolved. Too many sugar crystals in the batter may leave the baked cookies with a spotty appearance.

To finish, stir in little flour and chocolate powder. Sift the flour and cocoa powder thoroughly to remove any lumps before adding them to the wet ingredients. Dry ingredients that have been sifted are also easy to mix in.


You can either use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to fold in the flour.

When using a manual mixer, the dry ingredients should be folded in twice. It’s important to keep the dough from getting overworked.

Using a stand mixer, gradually incorporate the dry ingredients in two increments during the initial phase of mixing. Be sure to incorporate all of the dry ingredients by scraping the bowl’s sides and bottom.

You’ll need to exercise caution when working with the chocolate shortbread biscuit dough because it’s so soft and little sticky.

After the flour has been worked in, I turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and fold it over on itself many times to ensure that it is thoroughly combined (no flour streaks or butter streaks). Overworking the flour, which can make the cookies tough, is avoided in this way as well.

Let the dough to rest in a sealed container for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature. After this period of rest, the dough’s moisture will have distributed more uniformly.

Putting out the dough to rise

The dough’s room temperature makes it ideal for rolling. In spite of this, the dough will be sticky due to its supple texture. So, I suggest two options for rolling out the dough.

  1. The dough can be rolled out without worrying about it sticking to your work area by using the ziploc bag method. The thickness and shape of the resulting rectangle are also easier to keep consistent.
  2. Method of rolling out dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Although this helps keep your dough from sticking when you spread it out, you’ll still need a ruler or rolling pin guides to determine how thin your dough should be.

When it comes to convenience, I can’t beat the ziploc bag solution. Simply because I can fill the bag with dough and roll it out to a perfect square. It’s now a breeze to form the dough into square chocolate shortbread cookies with this method. Also, there is negligible coinage squandering. If I roll the dough out uniformly, I can have a uniform thickness of slightly about half a centimetre, which will also result in uniform baking.

After the dough has been flattened out, place it on a baking tray while still in the plastic bag or parchment paper. The dough can be frozen for a few hours or refrigerated overnight to firm up.

When the dough is ready, transfer it from the parchment paper or ziploc bag to a lightly floured work surface (you may need to carefully cut the bag).

I find that squares and rectangles work best when slicing chocolate shortbread cookies (like my classic shortbread cookies). To get clean cuts, trim only the edges using a sharp knife. Thereafter, form the cookie dough into the desired form. To create the scalloped edges, I use a vegetable cutter with a wave pattern.

Place the cut cookies on a cookie sheet coated with parchment paper, and chill in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Making chocolate shortbread in the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) as the cookies chill. Since I only have access to a standard oven, you may need to play about with the timing and/or temperature to get the results you want.

Put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet or baking sheet. Spread the cookies out on the baking sheet, leaving approximately an inch between each.

It’s best to bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes. Chocolate shortbread cookies are more difficult to judge for doneness. While baking, the edges of the cookies will darken, but this is normal and will not affect the taste. To gauge when these cookies are done baking, practise makes perfect.

The warm cookies will be soft, but they will harden as they cool. Chocolate shortbread biscuits should be cooled thoroughly on a wire rack.

Making cookie decorations

When the cookies have cooled, you can add an extra delicious touch by drizzling them with melted chocolate. In addition, I enjoy adding salt flakes for a salty, crunchy finish. But that’s all up to you.

When we make these chocolate shortbread cookies, they don’t stick around for long. If stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week, they will retain their freshness and flavour. Be sure to pack the cookies closely, but carefully. Tossing them in an open container can hasten their staleness.

Shortbread cookie dough can keep in the freezer for about three months. If you want to make it easier to cut out shapes from the dough, roll it out first and then freeze it. Pre-baked cookie dough can be frozen for up to a month.

Defrost the cookie batter in the fridge overnight. Cookies that have already been baked can be defrosted at room temperature.

Shortbread has a wonderful buttery, flaky feel and is not as sweet as sugar cookies. This recipe for chocolate shortbread cookies is not only delicious, but also incredibly simple to create. You’ll find that rolling out the dough and cutting out the cookies is a breeze with the help of the hints I’ve given, such as using a ziploc bag. There will be no more unintentional crumbs on the floor or crumbled shortbread on the counter. These sweets are perfect for the holiday season.

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