Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are simple slice and bake shortbread cookies that pack a rich chocolatey punch!

Maida Heatter is the consummate expert on cookies

So these classic Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are a must try. I consider myself somewhat of a shortbread expert since I’ve made and tested so many different varieties. Maida’s cookies will have to be pretty darned good to hold up to my Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, or my Deepest Chocolate Espresso Chip Cookies. We’ll see 😉

changes I made to this chocolate shortbread cookie recipe

I will say right up front that I fiddled with the recipe a little.

  • First, I made them into a slice and bake log, like I do with all my shortbread, instead of rolling out and cutting the dough.
  • Then, I added some chocolate chips to the dough just to up the chocolate quotient. The result is a simple cookie with a big chocolate punch.

There’s nothing worse than a half-hearted chocolate cookie. These are the real deal; the 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and the broken up chips give this cookie a rich chocolate flavor that shortbread doesn’t normally have. They go equally well with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk.

ingredients you’ll need:

  • flour, all purpose
  • cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • butter, unsalted
  • chocolate chips, use your favorite
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • vanilla extract, brings out the chocolate flavor
  • salt, enhances the chocolate flavor as well.

The dough gets formed into a log, then refrigerated until firm enough to slice. You can even freeze the log for later, if you like.



3.7 from 42 votes

Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Maida Heatter's Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are simple slice and bake shortbread cookies that pack a rich chocolatey punch!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted then measured by scoop and level process
  • 1/2 cup very best quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can find
  • 1 cup confectioners' powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Cream the butter, and then add the vanilla, salt and sugar. The Cuisinart isn't really the best choice for creaming butter, I know, but a lazy cook without a Kitchen Aid mixer will find a way. It does a fine job, with a little bit of scraping.
  • Add in the flour, cocoa and chocolate chips and process just till the dough comes together. The chips will get slightly chopped up, which is good.
  • Form the dough into a 10 or 11 inch log and wrap in waxed paper. Roll the log to smooth and shape it, and twist the ends firmly.
  • Refrigerate the log for at least an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325F.
  • When you're ready to bake, slice the dough into 3/8 inch slices. Arrange on a silicone mat or parchment paper and bake for about 18-20 minutes.

notes and variations

  • Be careful not to over bake these...because they're chocolate you can't rely on color to tell you when they're done.  Check in on them at 18 minutes, earlier if you sliced them on the thin side.  Like Brownies, shortbread is better underdone than overdone, and a couple of minutes can mean the difference between melting in your mouth, and crispy.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    5 stars
    This is a fabulous recipe. They are for my grandkids as Halloween treats, but my husband and I had to accidentally break some and eat them ourselves! I They took a lot longer to bake — more like 22 minutes. Be patient, keep checking them, and don’t rush them out of the oven.

    • Reply
      October 27, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Rhona ~ Happy Halloween!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    5 stars
    I made these after Christmas. And then made another batch…and another….finally I made a batch in secret and took them to my room so only I could eat them! This is called addiction. How could you do this to me?!

    • Reply
      February 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Oh Christina, you’ve got a whole lot of shortbread cookie exploration to do on the blog…this is only the beginning!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    5 stars
    That was a Great Idea to use the food processor! Also I used mini chocolate chips and just pulsed them in at the end!

  • Reply
    Kaela Beugnet
    November 6, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    If I wanted the cookies to be rectangular, would I have to adjust the baking time?

    • Reply
      November 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      It kind of depends on how big they are, Kaela…I always suggest baking one up as an experiment to test the timing. Also, shortbread can vary from softer to crisper, depending on the baking time, so you have some leeway.

  • Reply
    Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed)
    October 2, 2011 at 4:16 am

    5 stars
    These turned out beautifully – would love them with some mint tea.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    September 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve made these, and they are delicious!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

    first of all, every time i see that woman’s name, i think ‘mad hatter’…isn’t that terrible! secondly, these cookies rock. i love slice-and-bake recipes, particularly when chocolate is involved!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      Grace, Maida in Hindi and Urdu means baking flour!! Isn’t that amazing? How apt a name for a baker!

  • Reply
    Ciao Chow Linda
    September 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Wow, I love not only these cookies, but these photos. How do you get such great clarity and light?

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Will be making these!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 4:44 am

    5 stars
    Oh, another recipe added to my list! Thank you!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Yum! I love the photo of the mound of flour. It looks beautiful to see ingredients on their own like that once in a while.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    These do sound like the real deal. So chocolate-filled and delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm


  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my! I adore shortbread, and those fat slices of chocolatey-shortbready bliss are calling my name. LOUD!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    These look absolutely delicious…Chocolate and shortbread what a great combo! I will have to try these! Nice post!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Love your changes, Sue. I much prefer shortbread cookies in slice and bake form!
    Great job!

  • Reply
    Louise @ cosmetic bee
    September 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    These look sooo yummy!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now to convince my husband to make them for me! 😉

  • Reply
    Sulpicia (III)
    September 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Those look fantastic!

  • Reply
    once in a blue moon
    September 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    so happy you stopped by my blog so i could come and drool and marvel over your gorgeous pics… this cookie reminds of the world peace cookie, never met a chocolat bite i didn’t love~

    i am trying not to cook this year, trying to lose weight and will power in not one of my strong suits, i am reluctantly following you 😉

    its always nice to have a scapegoat to point to as the weight sits stationary…

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    September 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Oh, man! These look perfect! I love the chill the log of dough idea. The Germans make a shortbread hazelnut cookie using this technique, but these surely rival those little treats! Great choice to give tribute to Maida!

  • Reply
    From the Kitchen
    September 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Sue: I’m so glad you stopped by. The fact that you are in New England is welcome. Our younger son and daughter-in-law live in Massachusetts and we are looking forward to exploring New England. Have already made five trips taking in Rhode Island (they were married in Providence), Massachusetts, Connecticut and look forward to all the rest. I only meant to pay you a short visit but your food and photography is wonderful!! I’m your newest follower so as not to miss a post.


  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Only an experienced baker would know the changes to make to make this recipe her own. Great job! I will also check out the archives from Mondays with Maida.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Like how you modified these cookies into a slice and bake!

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson
    September 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I was going to make these this week, but you beat me to it! 🙂 I still plan to make them this weekend since I love shortbread and chocolate!

  • Reply
    Jane and Lance Hattatt
    September 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Hello Sue:
    Well, of course, we should be hopeless at cooking our way through this challenge but eating pour way through it would pose no difficulties at all. Oh, if only you were close enough for Afternoon Tea as these biscuits look particularly delicious.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I have never heard of her before. Those cookies are hard to resist; great presentation!

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

Grab my latest e-book

for free!

Subscribe to get first dibs on all my new recipes, plus extra subscriber only benefits!


You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

You have Successfully Subscribed!