Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies
I believe in balance. For example, if I eat three massive pieces of pepperoni pizza for dinner (yum) I will try my hardest to not eat dessert. On the contrary, if I have managed to tame my eating for most of the day, I believe in a sweet reward (thus undoing that entire day of not-horrible eating, but hey, we only go around once, right?). And since yesterday’s post was the somewhat advanced, time-consuming and ingredient-heavy (albeit delicious) recipe for yeasted coffeecake, I thought that a simple recipe with pantry ingredients would be a breath of fresh air today. Plus, shortbread cookies provide a great stepping stone into what is sure to be two weeks full of Irish-inspired recipes as we prepare to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Shortbread cookies are one of the simplest recipes you can make with ingredients that are usually always at the ready – butter, sugar, vanilla, flour and salt. That’s it! And if you want to dip them in chocolate, then of course chocolate. You’ll find no shortage of chocolate in my pantry!
The beauty of these cookies – in addition to their simplicity – is the rich flavor that is imparted from such few ingredients. They quite literally melt in your mouth, with a smooth buttery aftertaste. Shortbread and shortbread cookies can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes, although the traditional method is to bake it in a round pan and then cut into wedges. Shortbread fingers (like these) are also a very popular variety. The history of shortbread dates back to old world Scotland, where it is said that the ancient Scots baked shortbread in the winter months and put cuts in the shortbread rounds to represent the sun’s rays. Some say that this was a type of ritual to persuade the sun to return and do away with the cold winter.
Since the groundhog saw his shadow this year, I think everyone should make shortbread cookies to usher in spring and sunshine!
- ¾ pound (340.19 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3½ cups (437.5 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 6 to 7 ounces (170 to 198 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
- 3. Roll the dough ½-inch thick and cut into 3 by 1-inch fingers, either using a cookie cutter, pastry wheel, or pizza cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- 4. When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.
- 5. Dip ½ of each cookie into the chocolate to coat, letting the excess drip off. Set back on the parchment-lined sheet and let sit at room temperature until chocolate is set. Store at room temperature in a tin.
Did you make this recipe?
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My question is about the chocolate dipping sauce. Do you know of a sauce that can be made with cocoa?
Oh another Triumph from Michelle, the best shortbread cookies around!
Not some thin crispy boring cookie, but a thick crumbly chocolate dipped fight your family for kinda cookie.
Yes it was battle royal at my home when their numbers dwindled. The wife and I knew the kid had hoarded a bunch
and while he was at school we were like CSI in his room looking for his stash.
It was crazy, and well worth it!
Made these for Father’s Day for my 93 year old dad who absolutely loved them. My husband said it is the BEST homemade cookie he has ever eaten. I followed the recipe exactly EXCEPT I didn’t dip into the chocolate. I didn’t have chocolate (oh sad day!) but I made them as thick as shown with a round cut with a small juice glass and sprinkled them with large crystal sugar. Lovely! Thank you for this great recipe!
Can these be made up two days ahead and the dough kept in the fridge ?
Hi Sarah, Yes, absolutely!
I love your shortbread recipe! I made it the other day with Lavender infused butter. Heaven :)
I was wondering, could I melt chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate bars? Would the result be different?
Hi Vika, You could use chocolate chips and it shouldn’t be an issue.
Okay, rookie mistake, I thought the recipe said 3/4 cup not pound of butter. I had to ditch the whole batch in the trash but will definately be back in the kitchen making this one again, correctly.
These look really lovely…
Hey. They look so delish… But how lo g Can they last. My wedding is comming up and i am thinking about having these for my reseption… Can i bake Them two two weeks in advace? ;-)
Hi Charlotte, They wouldn’t last two weeks if not frozen. I would wait to dip them in chocolate until you thaw them, within a few days of serving.
Hello, i want to try this. But i dont have a mixer :(
You can certainly cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, but it takes A LOT of elbow grease!
I’m in the middle of making these, and they put a HUGE strain on my mixer. I have a Kitchen-Aid Professional 6, and it was rocking and clicking. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?
Hi Cathy, Definitely not normal at all. These are actually really easy on a mixer (I also have a professional 6-quart). My guess is that your butter wasn’t soft enough and it was bouncing around in there; that’s the only thing that would cause it to do that, unless there is a problem with your mixer.
If you follow this method for melting the chocolate (which I guess is sort of an easy way to temper it), does it ever bloom? Thanks!
3/4 pound of butter? D: Although the idea makes my mouth water (and is rather appropriate for Julia Child’s birthday!), it is a rather terrifying prospect…do you mean 3/4 cup or is it for reals 3/4 pound?
Hi Mariko, It’s not a typo, 3/4 lb (or 3 sticks) of butter – shortbread is a very, well, short-type of cookie that’s very buttery. They’re delicious! I hope you’ll give them a try!
i just caught a rerun of Barefoot Contessa and saw Ina make these cookies. i want to try them real soon.
I’ll happily take chocolate dipped anything!
Shortbread cookies are a staple on our household, but I always make the plain, simple ones. Thanks for sharing this recipe as I can now try to come up with variations.
…aaaaand there goes my nonexistent diet.
I’ll be making these tonight. Yesiree.
THIS LOOKS SOOOOOOO GOOD. Definitely going on my ‘to-do’ list. :-)
Shortbread is one of my favorites… I love it with a cup of coffee.
OMG im so hungry just looking at this……
I am totally drooling now over my computer… They look fabulous!
I think dipping them in chocolate is a brilliant idea!
those look perfect!
I believe that classic is best and these shortbread cookies are IT!
Great photos too, makes me want to get back in the kitchen and bake!
ARGH! I have all these ingredients on hand! Don’t make me do it. :) LOL These look so good. Always great to read the thoughts of a fellow chocoholic. ;)
I love this recipe from Ina Garten, I’m a huge fan of her and her stuff is always easy and always delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful treat
Oh how I love the simplicity of shortbread…and the melting in my mouth part. Yum!
Lol, we must be on the same brain wave, I was craving shortbread cookies and made some last night! Yours look delicious :)
I love shortbread. And I love chocolate. What better than the two together. Fantastic!!
(Sorta like having a diet coke with a piece of cake…..)
I like the intro when you talked about your eating habits – eating pizza then holding back on dessert vs being good for the day then you could eat something sweet….that paragraph could have been about ME! I feel the same way…
I love shortbread….this one’s a keeper in my recipe archive!
wow they are beautiful
those look insanely delicious! perfect for a little sweet snack or a good after-dinner dessert cookie…YUM!
OH YUMMY! I love shortbread, especially with a nice hot cup of English Breakfast tea.
You are making me hungry! :)
hey i fell in love with your site the day my eyes landed on it (last week). bookmarked so many recipes to try out ‘sometime’ but the ease and simplicity of shortbread makes me want to whip up a batch right away! thanks for the recipe though i have a question for you:
I have a mega stash of cocoa butter gifted to me and im at my wits end trying to use it up! I had read somewhere that cocoa butter used in place of regular dairy butter makes for longer lasting cookies (and cakes and sauces and gravies!!) but there were no recipes and it didn’t say how. since these cookies ask to be dipped in chocolate anyway, how would you suggest I go about subbing cocoa butter for regular butter? would using the same quantity as mentioned be alright? sorry for the long question. =) <3
I love, *love*, chocolate covered shortbread. This looks awesome.
Looks like 100% deliciousness!!!
Hi Jelli – To get the fancy edging, I cut them with a fluted pastry wheel; the other ones with straight edges were cut with a pizza cutter.
These are lovely. How did you get the fancy edges on some of the cookies?
I’ll take 4 dozen. For lunch. ^_^
These look so fantastic! I’ve never had a homemade shortbread cookie before. Love that you dipped them in chocolate!!!!
Can you please stop making so much stuff I want to try?! :) Totally kidding, but I basically want to try every single recipe on your site! Love it!
looks delicious! i love how buttery shortbread is… throw in some chocolate and its heavenly!
Chocolate is never in short supply in my pantry either! These look great. It’s funny because growing up I hated shortbread and now I absolutely love it! I agree about balance when eating. Food is about enjoyment and feeling good. Chocolate is necessary and so is broccoli. And chocolate makes you happy, its proven :)
Those look so delicious! I can taste the butter now! :)