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.



3.73 from 43 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.

Cook's notes

  • 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.


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2022 at 8:55 am

    Can an embossed rolling pin & cookie cutters be used instead of the slice & bake method?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 8, 2022 at 10:32 am

      I haven’t tried that with these cookies, sorry Karen. Shortbread in general does well with that kind of thing, though.

  • Reply
    Josee Marchessault
    March 2, 2022 at 11:09 am

    If you like coffee… I made these and added a handful of chocolate covered espresso beans, pulverized in the food processor. Swoon!

  • 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!

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