If you are a dark chocolate lover you are going to love this Chocolate Shortbread Recipe for cookies that are rich in flavor and have that wonderful melt-in-your-mouth delicious buttery shortbread texture.
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These easy-to-make chocolate shortbread cookies are so perfect to make for the holidays and your special celebrations. Today we are celebrating Valentine's Day by covering the cookie dough with pink, white, and red nonpareil sprinkles. Bake a batch of these sweet and festive cookies for your special someone!
The beauty of making a shortbread cookie recipe is it takes just a few ingredients, and this recipe takes just ten basic ingredients.
These cookies take the chocolate flavor seriously, so make sure you are using really good dark chocolate and the addition of cocoa powder adds even more intense flavor.
Sprinkles make cookies extra special and so colorful. For these chocolate sprinkle cookies, you can use any color of sprinkles you like, think Christmas, Easter, Halloween, birthday parties, or just because you want to make some festive cookies with pretty sprinkles. No matter what you use, the colorful sprinkles look so pretty next to the dark chocolate cookie dough.
There are several types of sprinkles to use but I prefer using the little round candies called nonpareils. They stick better to the dough and keep their color. I have found the jimmie sprinkles don't stick as well and they tend to lose their color during baking, but you can use them.
Of course, another great reason to use the nonpareils is to watch them roll all over your countertop and then onto the floor! A broom is required when making these cookies.
Let's bake some cookies
Step 1. You need to melt the chocolate first so it can cool. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and place them in the microwave for 30 seconds, take the bowl out and stir, then return to the microwave at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is melted. If you are using a chocolate bar, chop the chocolate into small pieces similar to a chocolate chip.
Step 2. Mix the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together in a small bowl, using a wire whisk will break up any clumps of cocoa powder.
Step 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter and both sugars. Mix together until a nice creamy mixture forms.
Step 4. Add the egg and vanilla to the bowl and mix to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 5. Add the melted chocolate to the bowl and mix on medium speed. Make sure the chocolate is not super hot, otherwise, it will melt the butter.
Step 6. Add the flour/cocoa powder mixture in half-cup amounts, mixing between each addition until the flour is no longer visible.
Step 7. Place the nonpareil sprinkles in a large container with sides that will fit the dough logs. The sprinkles do like to roll around so a deep-sided container works the best.
Step 8. Divide the dough in half and place it on a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap and roll the dough into a 6" x 2" log shape. The dough should be just a bit sticky, but not sticky enough that you can't work with it. Roll the dough back and forth with your hands to make the log nice and round.
Step 9. As soon as you make the dough log, place it in the sprinkles and cover the dough entirely. The dough should be sticky enough from rolling and forming that the sprinkles will stick.
Step 10. Roll the sprinkle-covered log in a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill.
Step 11. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Step 12. Place the chilled cookie dough log on a cutting board and slice each log into ¼" slices, place the slices on the cookie sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
Step 13. Adding the jumbo heart sprinkle on each cookie is totally optional but I think they just make the cookie look super cute. Stick one heart in the middle of each cookie before baking.
Step 14. Keep the baked cookies in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Bake more shortbread cookies
Shortbread cookies are really easy to make no matter what recipe you use. These three cookie treats are always a favorite.
Try these Crispy Lemon Cookies for a citrus shortbread.
If you love spice, these Chai Shortbread Cookies that are gluten-free and filled with lots of warming spices.
Rose Petal Shortbread Cookies have just a hint of rose and cardamon flavors with rose petals baked on top, they are pretty and delicious.
And a Chocolate Shortbread Crust for when you want to make a chocolate tart.
Shortbread questions and tips
- Is a shortbread the same as a sugar cookie? They have similar ingredients but shortbread cookies have more butter to flour ratio which results in a more tender and crumbly texture.
- Shortbreads are supposed to be slightly crisp with a melting texture.
- Overworking or overbeating the dough will make the cookies tough. Just mix until no flour is visible and be gentle when rolling.
- A good way to keep the cookie dough logs round is to place the rolls on a bed of rice, or cut a paper towel roll in half and place the dough into the cut-out half.
- Shortbread dough will keep well for up to a week in the fridge before being baked.
- The rolled dough can be frozen for three months. To bake the cookies, let the dough thaw slightly and slice and bake as directed. You want the dough to be firm when you slice it.
- I have not frozen this dough with the sprinkles so I can't guarantee that they will stick when the dough thaws. I must try this though!
Don't forget the sprinkles
Make sure to buy your sprinkles early since they tend to run out of stock in early February. I've learned the hard way. These sprinkles are more affordable in bulk, but I use these Wilton Valentine's Nonpareil Sprinkles and try to get them at Michael's or Hobby Lobby if I can find them. And for the pink and red hearts, I used these Wilton Jumbo Heart Sprinkles.
These shortbread cookies stack perfectly in a mini bread pan for a pretty presentation and you can use this set of red, and red stripe mini loaf pans for Christmas too! I love pretty towels and this set of striped heart towels are just right for Valentine's Day.
You are gonna love these cookies
- They have an incredibly deep dark chocolate flavor, just take a bite of one and you will understand what I mean..intense chocolate that is just so delicious.
- This recipe comes together in minutes.
- Since this recipe makes two cookie dough logs you can bake one today and chill the other for another day.
- Let's talk about color, these cookies are really, really pretty with the dark chocolate centers surrounded by colorful sprinkles. These shortbreads will look so festive on your cookie platters.
- Shortbread cookies last for over a week and are perfect for gift giving. You can even give the rolled cookie dough as a gift, just wrap it up in parchment and tie on the baking instructions with a pretty ribbon.
Are you looking for more Valentine's Day recipes? Here you can find 10 Easy Valentine's Day Recipes that are perfect to make for your sweetie.
Make sure to pin to your cookie board
Our best cookies
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 ¼ cups AP flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter 2 sticks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 eggs, large
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups red, white and pink nonpareil sprinkles approximately 2- five-ounce bottles needed
- jumbo heart sprinkles optional
- Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave for 30-seconds, then stir. Continue melting the chips using 15-second intervals until completely melted. If using a chocolate bar, chop it into small pieces the size of chocolate chips.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, and salt with a wire whisk and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the softened butter, and both sugars. Mix on medium speed until creamy.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix on medium speed until incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture in ½ cup increments and mix on medium speed just until the flour is incorporated and the dough forms.
- Divide the dough in half and form it into a 6" x 2" log and place it on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. The dough will be just a bit sticky. Now with your hands roll the dough back and forth and shape the log so it is the right size and nice and smooth.
- Add the nonpareil sprinkles to a casserole type dish or pan that has sides to it and is large enough to fit the dough logs.
- Place the just rolled dough log in the sprinkles and roll the log around until it is completely covered. You want the dough to be sticky from the heat of your hands so the sprinkles will stick to it.
- Wrap the sprinkles covered dough log in parchment or plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
- Repeat with the other dough log.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. and prepare two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat
- Remove the chilled dough from the wrapping and place it on a cutting board. Cut each log into ¼" thick slices and place on the baking sheet.
- This is optional but you can place on jumbo candy heart sprinkle in the center of each cookie before baking.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes then remove the cookies to a cooling rack.
- Store the shortbreads for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
First published: January 14, 2021, last updated: January 13, 2023, for better readability.
Thank you for stopping by the One Hot Oven blog. Please leave a comment to say Hello or just let me know what you are baking these days, I always love hearing from fellow bakers. Have any questions or just want to chat about the recipe? My contact information is on my about page, and I’ll be happy to help.
From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.
You are right these cookies have an intense chocolate flavor which I love. These shortbreads are really easy to make and I just sliced enough cookies for one cookie sheet and kept the rest in the fridge for later. This way I can have fresh baked cookies daily.
Chocolate shortbread cookies are my favorite! I love the little heart ones from Trader Joe's, but yours look incredible and I can make them at home. Win! Win!
I love slice and bake cookies! These were absolutely amazing, I’ve pinned the recipe so I can keep making them!!
The Sudden Cook
My daughter would sure LOVE these!!!
Will bookmark the recipe to try out this weekend. Thank you!
This is the prettiest cookie for Valentines Day with the colorful sprinkles on the outside! But best of all these cookies taste amazing and have a deep chocolate flavor. Thank you!
My kids had so much fun making these, and even more fun eating them 🙂 Luckily mum enjoyed them too as I am sure they will be requested again very soon!
This is so fun and cute for a weekend baking project! My niece had so much fun decorating these cookies!
Easy to make but they look extra special as though I spent hours in the kitchen. Love them!
These cookies are simply amazing! I made them for a recent kids party and they were a huge hit.
I am so glad you enjoyed these cookies.
These look so pretty- we are making them tomorrow as a prep to the Valentines weekend as this will be a very special one for us. these cookies look perfect and my kids cannot wait any longer to have them after seeing the pics 😉
These look delicious and I can't wait to try them! How much chocolate do you use? I do not see it listed in the ingredients list. Thank you!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt
What a great cookie! I love how the flavors in these came together and they are perfect. So lovely for Valentine's Day.
Jere, I was searching the web looking for the best bake treat to bake with little one for his teachers and this is it! Winning!
These chocolate shortbread cookies taste amazing! My kids and I had so much fun making these, the sprinkles make them so festive!