If shortbread and a brownie had a baby they might come up with a delicious buttery cookie like these Chocolate Walnut Shortbread Cookies!
If you ask me dark chocolate and walnuts were made for each other. These easy slice and bake chocolate walnut shortbread cookies are like little brownie bites, only not quite as sweet, with the slightly bitter walnut flavor holding its own next to the robust deep chocolate. They also have that famous shortbread texture that melts in your mouth.
what’s in this post
ingredients for chocolate walnut shortbread cookies
Shortbread is a traditional Scottish treat made with 3 basic ingredients: sugar, flour and butter. The absence of eggs and leaveners, such as baking powder or baking soda, contributes to the dense, crumbly texture characteristic of shortbread and gives it its tender, melt-in-your-mouth quality.
- salted butter
- if you use unsalted butter, add a little extra salt to the dough. Salt ties the flavors in this cookie together.
- granulated sugar
- all purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- be sure you’re using unsweetened cocoa powder. Do not use sweetened cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix, or anything other than pure cocoa.
- toasted walnuts
- the easiest way is to lay them out on a plate and microwave for 2 minutes on high. Let them cool before adding to your dough.
- vanilla paste or extract
- don’t skip this, it really brings out the chocolate flavor.
Slice and bake cookies are one of the best concepts ever. One of my favorite ways to use chocolate walnut shortbread cookie dough is to slice off a few at a time to bake up when the urge for fresh cookies warm from the oven strikes. Or freeze the whole log (or two) to get a head start on holiday baking.
slice and bake shortbread, step by step
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder and sugar to combine.
- Work in the soft butter. I do this with a stand mixer on low. Keep mixing until the crumbly dough comes together. It might seem to dry at first, but the moisture in your soft butter will eventually bring it together, have patience.
- Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
- Slice using a sharp knife and you’ll reveal a kaleidoscope of chocolate walnut gorgeousness in every slice.
tips and tricks for making chocolate walnut shortbread
Be sure your butter is at room temperature and get the dough thoroughly combined, with no dry flour or dry crumbles, before rolling it into a log.
The dough must be well chilled before slicing and baking.
Be aware that the cookies will be delicate when they come out of the oven and until they cool, so treat them gingerly!
Dutched cocoa will give you a darker cookie (see my Double Dark Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies)
Chocolate Walnut Shortbread Cookies
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, regular or extra dark
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature (it is important to use soft butter.)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, rough chopped Note: if you want to see the pretty walnut shapes in the sliced cookies don't chop your walnuts too finely.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined.
- Add the butter and vanilla and mix on low until the dough comes together. Note: the dough may seem crumbly at first, but keep mixing on low, once the moisture of the softened butter is completely incorporated into the flour, the dough will form.
- Fold in the walnuts and turn the dough onto a surface. Form the soft dough into a log, about 10 inches long.
- Roll up in plastic wrap, smoothing the log through the plastic with your hands. Twist the ends securely. I like to roll the log in a terrycloth dish or hand towel to help it keep its round shape as it chills.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours (or overnight.) If you're in a hurry you can freeze for 1 hour or until quite firm.
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Unwrap the cold dough and slice into slices, about 1/3 inch thick.
- Place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 12-14 minutes. Just until set.
- Cool for a few minutes on the tray, then transfer to a cooling rack. They are delicate, especially when warm but will firm up a bit as they cool.
- To toast walnuts place them on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F oven for 12-15 minutes. Or place on a plate and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Pecans would also work well in this recipe.
more chocolate cookies!
- Buckwheat Cardamom Chocolate Chip Cookies
- DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe ~ the secret’s out!
- Double Dark Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
- Homemade Thin Mints