Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies | Vanilla And Bean

Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies

Chocolatey, cocoa nibby and crunchy, these shortbread cookies make a fabulous and appreciated holiday treat (or for anytime!). NOTE: Prep time below is an estimate based on my experience making these cookies. This time can vary depending on baker experience.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Dark Chocolate Shortbread, Holiday Cookies, Shortbread Recipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Resting TIme 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 33 minutes
Servings 38 Cookies
Calories 91kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


For the Cookies:

For Decorating:

  • Powder Sugar
  • 1/2 C High Quality White Chocolate Chips/Wafers 42.5 g
  • A few drops of Olive Oil


For the Cookies:

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
  • 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.

To Decorate:

  • 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.


I use two 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" star cookie cutters for this recipe. Depending on the size of the cookie cutter used, yields may vary.
Recipe adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book.


Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg