These are rich, buttery, and deeply chocolate flavored cookies, without being too sweet. Perfect for every chocolate lover!
If you want the best cocoa powder, I only use Valrhona cocoa powder in all of my pastries and baked goods. Valrhona is a French company that has been producing chocolate for 100 years, and while it’s a bit more pricey than the store bought stuff, you’ll really see and taste the difference. I did a side-by-side comparison of different cocoa powders for you, and you can see how Valrhona is a deep, rich, auburn brown, compared to even the store bought “dark chocolate” cocoa powder.
If you would like more info on my preferred ingredient brands, tips and tricks, FAQs, and a little cookie science, I cover all of that in my No-Spread Lemon Shortbread Sugar Cookie Recipe.
Are these technically shortbread or sugar cookies?
They’re kind of both. It’s fine to call these either “decorated sugar cookies” or “decorated shortbread cookies.” But I’m going to refer to any of my cookie recipes that can used as a base for cookie decorating as “shortbread sugar cookies.”
- 2 parts flour to 1 part fat
- No eggs
- No leavening agent
- Dense and crispy
- 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat
- Contains eggs
- Contains a leavening agent
- Light and Chewy
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes don’t rise or spread, can be used for cookie decorating, have egg, but no leavening agent, and have a 2 ¼ parts flour to 1 part fat. Which makes them fall somewhere between a shortbread and a sugar cookie. They’re both shortbread and sugar cookies, and neither shortbread or sugar cookies, at the same time. They’re Shrodinger’s cookies!
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes can be used for slice-and-bake cookies as well!
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Chocolate Shortbread Sugar Cookies
- measuring spoons and cups
- mixing bowls
- cling wrap
- cookie cutters
- large knife
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup good cocoa powder Valrhona if available
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Whisk dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder) together and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars with paddle attachment, on medium-low speed, until fluffy and pale in color (about 5 minutes).
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the paddle with a spatula, and then continue to mix on low speed for another 30 seconds to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients, all at once, and mix on low speed just until dough starts to come together and no dry bits remain. Do not overmix.
- Turn dough out onto cling wrap, tightly wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- Knead, roll, cut out cookies, and return to fridge or freezer until firm. Leave a couple inches between cookies.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 1-5 minutes until edges are starting to darken in color.*
- Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet before handling.
- Chocolate cookies are a little harder to tell when the edges are darkening, so you can quickly and gently press on the center of a cookie, and if they feel firm, they’re done. If you leave a dent, or they feel squishy, let them bake for a little longer.
- The reason for adding 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to your dough is to prevent your cookies from shrinking or spreading during baking.
- If making slice-and-bake cookies, split dough in half, roll into logs, wrap tightly in cling wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate before slicing and baking.
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