Looking for a fabulous, and elegant gift or a rich chocolately treat? Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies make a generous holiday gift and a tasty treat. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rodelle. All opinions are my own.
Shortbread cookies took me way too long to appreciate. With just a few ingredients, a bit of time in the fridge, a gentle touch, and an oven, one can make the most delightful and treasured cookies.
Shortbread is quick to pull together, holds well in the freezer, has a long shelf life and are sturdy enough to package up and send off to friends. I love these cookies. And what’s better than chocolate, right?
One of my favorite traditions at Christmas time is to bake a variety of cookies. Many are given to friends and snacked on by family while others are shipped off to be enjoyed. I make a lot of shortbread because the dough stores easily in the freezer where it will hang out until I’m ready to roll it out, cut and bake it. They make fabulous last minute guest treats too!
People respond with such glee when they receive a bundle of shortbread cookies, more so than any other type of cookie. Perhaps it’s all the buttery goodness or the crunchy, crumbly texture or perhaps the sheer simplicity of the cookie itself that brings up memories of the holiday season.
This recipe is one of my favorite cookie recipes. It is simple, quick, rich, chocolatey, full of cocoa nibs and it’s shortbread! What more can I say?
Oh, and one of the best things is, you can cut them into any shape you want!
Another option, and not as holidayish is to roll the dough into a log, 2″ thick, then refrigerate it for at least two hours. Brush egg white on the outside of the log, sprinkle it in raw sugar then slice 1/2″ thick cookies, refrigerate again for 20 minutes then bake for about 26 minutes or until cookies are set.
Either way these cookies are a perfect treat!
Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 3/4 C All Purpose Flour + a few Tbs for work surface dusting + A small bowl of flour for cookie cutter dipping 112 g
- 1/2 C White Whole Wheat Flour, aka Ivory Wheat Flour 82 g
- 1/2 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - I used Rodelle Cocoa 58 g
- 1 Tbs Corn Starch
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 12 Tbs Unsalted Butter,room temperature (1 1/2 sticks or 170 g)
- 1/4 C Granulated Sugar 58 g
- 3/4 C Light Brown Sugar 150 g
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 C Cacao Nibs 46 g
- Powder Sugar
- 1/2 C High Quality White Chocolate Chips/Wafers 42.5 g
- A few drops of Olive Oil
For the Cookies:
Sift the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, sea salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract for about two minutes or until smooth and incorporated, stopping to scrape down bowl once while mixing. Add the sifted ingredients in two batches pulsing in the ingredients just until all the ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be very crumbly. Turn the mixer to medium and mix until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. If the dough is not coming together and is crumbly, sprinkle in up to 1 Tbs of water to help it come together while mixing. Add the cocoa nibs and pulse in until the nibs are evenly distributed.
Dump the dough out on a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you press the dough together into a 1/2" (1.2cm) thick rectangle. Wrap tightly and rest it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to two days. (At this point you can freeze the dough for up to two months. When ready to use, thaw overnight in refrigerator, rest on the counter until pliable enough to roll then, roll out as needed).
On a floured work surface, condition the dough by beating it with a rolling pin to start flattening it out. Turn the dough as needed to keep it in a square or rectangular shape. If the dough seems too crumbly at this point, knead it a few times by folding it and beating it with the pin. You'll notice it will start holding together. (There's no need to worry about overworking the dough). Roll the dough out to 1/4" (6mm) keeping the rectangular shape as much as possible. You'll notice some cracking in the dough; simply press the dough back together. Dip the desired cookie cutter into some flour, so the dough won't stick to it, and cut the cookies out. Use a small offset spatula as needed to transfer the cookies to the lined baking sheet leaving at least 1/2" (1.5cm) between each cookie. Once all the cookies are on the baking sheet, transfer pan to the refrigerator to chill the cookies for 20 minutes (do not skip this step otherwise the cookies will lose their shape).
While the dough is resting, preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Meanwhile, gather up the remaining dough, reshape into a rectangular piece, using the pin to condition the dough again. Roll out and cut again. Do this until all remaining dough has been used or wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and freeze for future use. Note: There's no need to worry about over-working the dough here unless it gets too warm. If the dough gets too warm while reworking, pop it in the freezer for 5-8 minutes, then work the dough as needed.
Bake chilled cookies for 22-24 minutes, starting to check on them at 20 minutes due to oven variations. The cookies should be almost firm to the touch but will continue to firm up as they cool. Allow to cool on the sheet pan. Transfer to a covered container or to gift bags and store for up to three weeks.
With Powder Sugar: Dust cookies through a fine mesh strainer with powder sugar.
With White Chocolate: Melt the white chocolate gently in a bain marie. This is a slow process. If it seems to thick, add a few drops of oil and mix well. Once melted and pipeable, pour white chocolate into a pastry bag or into a plastic zip bag. Cut a very small hole in the pastry or plastic bag and drizzle white chocolate over cookies. Place cookies in the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set up.
If you make this recipe, or any others on Vanilla And Bean, be sure to post it to Instagram, notify me @vanillaandbean and tag #vanillaandbean! I’d love to see what you’ve made! Also, if you like my content, please consider sharing it with friends and/or family and follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter. Thank you!