Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies 1

Now that I’ve got most of my cookie gift boxes in the mail, it’s time to focus on what’s staying here with us.

Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies | The View from Great Island 2

Shortbread of all kinds is a recurring theme in our house.  It’s one of those holiday staples that we all look forward to.  I make different varieties every year depending on my mood.  These extra dark cookies are amazing, if I do say so myself.  They melt in your mouth with an explosion of deep rich chocolate that’ll make your eyelids flutter.  I  love the unique texture of shortbread, it’s super soft inside with a delicate crunch on the outside.  To call it a cookie is to completely miss the point.

I used extra dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips, so this is about the richest chocolate you can bite into short of a truffle.

The short list of ingredients and easy prep is what makes this the ultimate holiday cookie.  There’s no stress involved, they come together in minutes, and the whole thing can be done ahead of time and the dough kept in the refrigerator or freezer.  They make the perfect after dinner with coffee treat, and as a bonus they stack and ship well, as long as you pack them carefully.

Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 12 cookies (double the recipe if you want more)

What You Will Need

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I use Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Oven to 325F
  2. Cream the butter, cocoa powder and sugar together until completely combined and smooth. Add in the vanilla.
  3. Mix in the flour, and finish with a wooden spoon. Don't over mix.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and turn the dough out onto a board and form into an smooth 8" log. The dough will be sticky.
  5. Wrap it in waxed or parchment paper and twist both ends to secure, shaping the log as you roll. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight. You can also freeze the dough for later use.
  6. Slice the log into 1/3" slices with a sharp knife.
  7. Put on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. They will feel slightly soft, don't over bake them.
  8. Cool for a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a rack.
  9. If you're going to give them away make sure they are completely cool before you package them.

Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies | The View from Great Island 1

I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder for these cookies—it’s a blend of Dutched cocoa processed to give a deeper, richer chocolate color and flavor.  I liked it quite a bit.  You can see the color above is unusually deep, and the flavor is as well.  It makes my dark chocolate chips look pale in comparison!  I highly recommend this cookie to all of you who love chocolate.


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93 Responses to Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

  1. Carol says:

    Hello! I just made the dough. To give it more moisture, I added 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, softened. We’ll see if it works out for the cookies. Thanks for the new cookie idea! C.

  2. Hilda says:

    I am sorry to say that these were a complete fail for us. I had such high expectations for these cookies that I made a double recipe. I added some white chocolate chips to the chocolate chips. Sadly, the cookies were so bitter that my husband, who loves bitter chocolate, wouldn’t eat them. We ended up throwing them away. I was very careful with the recipe, so I guess these are very, very dark. Just a caveat; they may not be for every palate.

    • Sue says:

      I’m so sorry they didn’t work for you Hilda, I know the frustration of having high expectations for a recipe that doesn’t work out. I would suggest playing with the amount of sugar versus cocoa powder if you do happen to give them another try, that should solve the problem for you.

  3. Olivia says:

    Okay so these were pretty dry but otherwise very nice! They had great flavor! I tried making them again but this time i added maybe like 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce to try to add some moisture and they came out wonderful! I would recommend trying it with apple sauce! You don’t taste it all which is so nice! Yum!

  4. yvonne says:

    I tried these tonight after roaring success from the peanut butter shortbread! However, these chocolate ones came out much drier and powdery than he peanut butter, which was aptly melt-in-your-mouth texture. Is there any way i can introduce more moisture to make it less dry?

    Or how about replacing peanut butter with nutella in the peanut butter recipe, and changing 1/4 plain flour to cocoa powder? Do you think it’ll work?

    PS: I tried the peanut butter shortbread using cookie butter too and it was awesome! The cookie butter was much sweeter than peanut butter which made the shortbread of perfect sweetness for me, as i found the peanut butter ones a tad too bland.

    Thanks for this great recipe!

    • Sue says:

      I love your sense of experimentation Yvonne! For the double dark cookies you could try playing with the amount of butter in this recipe, add a little more. And also maybe substitute regular sugar for the confectioner’s sugar. The cookie butter idea for the others sounds really interesting!

  5. Tarini says:

    Can you use granulated sugar instead? for this recipe as well as for your espresso choc chip shortbread….thanks a lot :)

  6. Justen says:

    Why 325 for these and 350 for the pb shortbread ones?

    • Sue says:

      This was an earlier recipe, and that’s the temp I used to use. Either will work, but I now prefer 350F.

  7. Kate says:

    Hello Sue,
    Do you think this recipe would hold up as a crust for a tart?

    • Sue says:

      I don’t think it would be a great tart crust, Kate, although I’ve never tried. The dough is so crumbly and delicate. I wouldn’t risk it, sorry!

  8. Chocaholic says:

    Do yourself a favor and make these gems! Perfect buttery flavor softens the strong dark chocolate flavor in a way that makes these addicting. I added sliced almonds instead of chocolate chips.

  9. […] Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies […]

  10. Chi says:

    HI there, I really want to make these but cannot find the special dark chocolate here. Is there a replacement you’d recommend? I have dutch cocoa and regular hershey’s cocoa. Will they work as a replacement? Thanks!

  11. Jeannette says:

    Unfortunately I don’t think these will find their way out of the house, possibly not even the kitchen…!!! YUM!!!

  12. meghan says:

    These are SERIOUSLY Amazing!!! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!!

  13. Franklin says:

    I made these the same time as I made the peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread. The texture and enjoyability between the two are very similar (see my comments on the predecessor blog post for an idea of what the consistency is like). This double-dark chocolate version seems less rich and able to maintain its integrity a bit better as a final product probably because of the lack of additional oil from the peanut butter. It is still very delicate nonetheless. I removed them from the oven at 13 minutes seeing how the cookies were starting to “sizzle”. I didn’t want to risk burning them.

    I should add that, in both cases, I measured sifted flour and sugar. That is to say: I sifted directly into the measuring cups before leveling off. I wonder whether I would have achieved a stronger final product–one that lends itself to allow better handling and transportability–if I had sifted after measuring.

    This has a very nice, deep, rich chocolate flavor without the undesirable excessive sugariness. I used Valrhona 100% cacao powder and Guittard Akoma chips. The way the soft, delicate crumbs fall apart in the mouth and how that transforms into the ensuing chocolatey creaminess makes for a luxurious experience.

  14. Itsybitsy says:

    Is it possible to roll out the dough and cut shapes or make drop cookies instead?

    • Sue says:

      Definitely you can make drop cookies, my daughter likes to do them that way. And yes, you can make shapes, but the chocolate chips will get in the way of intricate shapes, so it’s best to use larger, more simple shapes. You can also roll the dough into a log and do slice and bake.

  15. Shelby says:

    Would these turn out just as good if I don’t add the cocoa. Or if I skip the cocoa, add almond instead of vanilla, and some crushed pecans….

  16. I found this recipe on Pinterest over a year ago and made them for our annual Robbie Burns Scotch Tasting party. They were a hit and will be made again this week for the annual party this week-end. I do add a bit of espresso powder and use the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips as they are easier to cut through for me. Thank you.

  17. best recipes says:

    This looks almost decadent – yum yum. I love shortbread. Have a look at my coffee shortbread at that I have just taken to the office.

  18. Two of my favorite things: chocolate and shortbread. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. […] all chocoholics: this cookie is going to be your new fave! Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth goodies with a delicate outer crunch. With a short list of ingredients, and […]

  20. […] saw this amazing recipe for dark chocolate shortbread on The View from Great Island and I had a Ginny-inspiration. Let’s call it a Ginspiration: Andes mint chocolate shortbread […]

  21. I love this! I made them with unsweetened because that’s what was on hand, but I am working on Christmas recipes, so chopped up Andes mints and used those…oh. My. Gosh. Love it!

  22. Wow, these look INCREDIBLE!! Just pinned them, can’t wait to try!!

  23. munki64 says:

    oh i see the temp now! nm lol silly me…

  24. munki64 says:

    i added a touch of espresso powder and a pinch of kosher salt… the dough is totally addicting! i’m about to bake them right now.. although it doesn’t say at what temp to do this i guess i’ll go with 325 or 350.. thanks for the recipe! i can’t wait to try the PB choc one….

  25. I got this recipe via Pinterest some time back and have modified them with to be made with coconut oil (since I’m one of those pesky vegans who has to mess with every recipe)… They are SO SO SO GOOD!!

  26. Pauline Yee says:

    I love this recipe, but my cookies always end up being too soft after I take them out of the oven. Am I cutting them too thick?

  27. Laura says:

    Holy dark chocolate wow. Pinning now.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Upon seeing these on Pinterest and thinking they looked delicious, I added them to my holiday cookie trio. Unfortunately, they were disappointing. They look pretty and similar to the pic, but the texture of the finished product is almost powdery it is so dry. Now I need to make another type because I don’t want to give these out. Bummer.

  29. Anonymous says:

    wondering what these would be like with glace cherries, a little more in the christmas colour theme

  30. Crackers says:

    Done, and delicious. I added half a tablespoon of espresso powder just because. Heavenly, not overly sweet, and gorgeous. Thanks.

  31. I have only ever had regular shortbread cookies and never attempted to make them myself. I am so excited about how good these turned out that I’m heading to the store now to get more butter. Thanks for the recipe!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Just made these, and they are amazing, thanks for the recipe!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hi I just made these and I only had the Unsweetened Cocoa…that must really make a difference because they weren’t as yummy as they looked.

  34. julie says:

    Made these today and they are great! I like the peanut butter chocolate chip ones even more. Thanks for the recipes.

  35. Cyn R says:

    A pal brought these to our art co-op yesterday. These are some of the best cookies I have ever had, and my standards as a (very experienced) amateur baker are quite high! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. They’re fabulous!

  36. shinelife says:

    I saw this cookie on pinterest too and made it for the Christmas Eve family dinner. Amazing! Everyone loved it! You aren’t kidding, they are very truffle-like!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Just made these after seeing this on pinterest- I used chopped pecans in place of chocolate chips though since that’s what I had on hand and I’m not a fan of chocolate chips anyways. Came out delicious! I also just made little thumb print rounds since I couldn’t wait for the refrigeration step. I will definitely be making these again and again!

  38. Whitney M says:

    I just made these tonight, and they’re sooo good! I love dark chocolate, and these just melt in your mouth! Thanks for this recipe :)

  39. rebecca says:

    I made these last night and my husband loved them! I just made another batch for Christmas. I melted the butter this time rather than using softened butter, and it was a lot easier to shape into a log and not as sticky!

  40. Julie says:

    Oh my. so much baking still to do, but I may have to make room for these!

  41. jkhaynes18 says:

    It says 1/2 cup of chocolate chips… clearly in the directions…

  42. Sherry says:

    I had butter out ready to make my go to sugar cookies but got sidetracked and made these instead. They are chilling in the fridge now. Can’t wait to taste them :-) Thanks for recipe.

  43. To the earlier anonymous comment—no, unfortunately you can’t cook these in a microwave, but you could use a toaster oven probably. Sorry!

  44. Anon—Shortbread cooks really quickly, and if your oven is pretty dependable they should be done in 12 minutes, 15 if you cut them on the thick side. The chocolate ones are so hard because there is no color cue.
    The good thing is that if you cook them a little less they will be softer, and if you cook them a little long, they will be crisper. I always err on the shorter cooking time. When you touch them lightly they’ll still be soft and they firm up as they cool. You can do one pan first to test the oven and time if you’re not rushed, Good luck!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Making these right now. They smell delish. I’m finding it hard to tell whether they are done or not. Any tips?

  46. Working london mummy says:

    oooh how scrummy! a great recipe x

  47. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen says:

    Hauntingly BEAUTIFUL~ This is by far the darkest and deepest shortbread i’ve ever seen!

  48. Hungry Dog says:

    I wish I’d seen these going to a cookie swap today and fell back on old standbys (still good but these look lovely and new to me!) OH well, I guess I’ll just have to find another excuse to make them!

  49. Anonymous says:

    hey. a little question. i dont have an oven. can i put it in the microwave after removing it from the fridge?

  50. grace says:

    you’re not kidding about the dark part, are ya now?! these look amazing, sue!

  51. these and those flourless pb cookies are my crack. fabulous darling!

  52. I love shortbread…especially the melting in your mouth aspect of it! I am very interested to try a chocolate version! Yum! I’m glad I found your blog.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I just used your recipe! These cookies are delicous!

  54. heather says:

    Double batch of dough chilling in the fridge right now. I went for 1/2 cup of chocolate chips per batch. My first baking experience with my 5 week old daughter in a sling. Feeling very accomplished! Though they still need to be baked….

  55. Oh my, do these ever look amazing. I love shortbread, but I’ve never made a chocolate shortbread. That has to change soon! These must taste incredible!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Could you please write the amount of chips you’ve used?
    Thanks from Israel!

  57. onionchoco says:

    Chocolate? Always!
    Cookies look perfect for me :)

  58. Mary says:

    Wow, those are VERY dark chocolate cookies! They sound perfect to me.

  59. Joanne says:

    Even if I THOUGHT I was giving these away to other people…I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t end up leaving my apartment. They’d go straight into my belly! All that chocolate…how could you resist?

  60. Barbara says:

    You know me, Sue, I love those slice and bake shortbread cookies! But these are darker (and more dangerous?) than any I’ve seen in ages. How divine!

  61. Oh do they ever look yummy. I love that real chocolate flavor and shortbread cookies are always so rich and buttery.

  62. Stephanie says:

    OOh those look sinfully good. I’m a sucker for chocolate. The richer the better I say! Glad you made something to keep for yourself!

  63. linda says:

    These look amazing! I can almost smell them. Thank you

  64. Magnolia Verandah says:

    This looks almost decadent – yum yum. I love shortbread. Have a look at my coffee shortbread at that I have just taken to the office.

  65. Jen L. says:

    What’s the quantity on the chocolate chips? I think they are missing from the ingredient list..

  66. Those look wonderful! I’ll have to make them soon!

  67. Those are some decadent looking cookies!

  68. This looks scrumptious, how delicious and how lucky your family are.

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    • Anonymous says:

      These comments must be from the author’s friends because they mention that the cookies look good but omit any comment about the taste. Clearly “the friends” have not made them yet. I made them and I am not a friend. Let’s just say they will now be a regular in my holiday baking repertoire. I recommend using Valrhona cocoa powder. Fantastic recipe!

  69. Hello Sue:
    As you say, there is something particularly special and appealing about receiving homemade goodies at Christmas. Your shortbread looks to be the perfect gift and we are very tempted to try this receipt out as we are sure that both we and our friends would find it irresistible.

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