Chocolate Shortbread :: Recipe

I love these simple shortbread cookies–very English, not overly sweet, and maybe a tad bit addictive. I don’t make them often (the recipe is from my ancient Crabtree and Evelyn Cookbook), but when I do the leftovers are few, and the smiles and thank yous are many. These store very well in airtight containers, if you have that kind of self control. And the whole thing can be thrown into a food processor and mixed up in a instant, I’ve been told. Makes about two dozen, or more if you’re using small cookie cutters.

Time Commitment: About forty five minutes in total. Some to mix, some to cut out, and a few more minutes to bake.

Tools you need:

  • A cookie sheet or two
  • A cookie cutter or two (I especially like the hearts and the hippos)
  • an oven :)
  • large bowl and wooden spoon, plus measuring cups and utensils…


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted, butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • granulated sugar
What to do:

Step One: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in the cut butter and rub in lightly with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Step Two: Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix or knead until a smooth dough forms. (The recipe now calls for chilling the dough for 45 minutes, but I never do.)

Step Three: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. (I cut the dough in quarters or thirds and work only with a small amount at a time, and I usually don’t even use a rolling pin, but just work it flat with my hands.)  Using a heart-shaped or other fun cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them on a baking sheet. (I use a small, sharp knife to peel the cookies off of the surface of the counter.)

Step Four: Sprinkle the cookies with granulated sugar, (or coarse sea salt!) then bake for 12-15 minutes, or until firm but not browned around the edges.

Step Five: Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool, invite friends over for tea and cookies, and enjoy!

Here are my hippos–on a leisurely walk to the local watering hole


10 thoughts on “Chocolate Shortbread :: Recipe

  1. Pingback: Orthodox Collective

  2. Mmmm…scrumptious. I would like those with some vanilla ice cream.

    I made the lemon poppyseed cookies again…they seem like something that would be in the Crabtree & Evelyn cookbook! I actually went to their store which is just 2 miles from me….and got my mom a wonderful little giftbag with wisteria handcream in it. ♥

  3. Jane, amazing recipie, can’t wait to try! My mother in law was born and raised in England, and I passed your recipie on to her. The recipie I am submitting is actually from her, and is absolultely AMAZING! Very rich and you don’t even need an oven! Imagine that. But will need a microwave! (I just started using one, but if you don’t have one, a saucepan on the stovetop will probably work just as well!)

    Here it is: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

    For the cake:
    *7 ounce package tea biscuits (sold in the English/Irish aisle, or possibly the cookie aisle?! — They are big and round….Do not use the English Biscuit “Digestives” as they will crumble too easily.)
    *1 cup heavy cream
    *2 tablespoons honey
    *4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    *16 oz. (about 2.5 cups) bittersweet chocolate bits/chips — ( i prefer Ghiardelli)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the glaze:
    *2 tablespoons butter
    *1/4 c. heavy cream
    *6 oz. (about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate — (you can use a baking bar if you would like, Bakers is really good, or again, Ghiardelli).

    *Coat a 7-8 inch round springform pan with cooking spray —- (you don’t actually have to use the springform pan as I don’t even have one! A pie dish or any other sort of cake pan will do.)
    *To make the cake, with your hands, break up the biscuits into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces; you want Chunks, NOT crumbs.
    *In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the cream, honey and butter. *Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes, or until bubbling.
    *Add the chocolate (chips) and stir until melted and the mixture is smooth.
    *Add the vanilla, then the crumbled biscuit.
    *Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top.
    *Gently tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air pockets.
    *Refrigerate for 3 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

    *Once the cake is chilled, prepare the glaze.
    *In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and cream.
    *When the mixture reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until completely melted and smooth.
    *Carefully remove the side from the springform pan (you may need to slide a paring knife around the inside upper edge ensure the sides come away cleanly from the cake. Set the rack of parchment paper to catch drips…Allow glaze to drip down and completely cover the top and sides of cake.)
    ——–I did not do this!!!!! I just poured the glaze over the top of the cake and didn’t bother with all that other stuff, and it comes out just as great! It just won’t cover the sides, which it doesn’t really need to, as it is super rich already.
    *Allow to firm.
    *(I like to cut skinny slices) and serve on a plate — tastes great with milk!
    *Refrigerate leftovers.
    Makes 12 servings.

    It is super easy! Super yummy, and if you want a fabulous chocolate chip scone recipie, let me know. I have one that is out of this world!
    Love to all,
    Kh. Tammy

  4. So happy to see this! I have a deep fondness for the chocolate shortbread cookies that Jeannine’s Bakery makes (and will sometimes go to Gelson’s just to buy them) and now I have the perfect recipe to make my own.

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