Deep Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

3 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Ten Classic Christmas Cookies

Chocolate shortbread cookies are a chocoholic's version of the classic Christmas treat. This shortbread cookie has a deep chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee. You don’t have to chill the dough before rolling it out, so they’re very quick to make. As with all cutout cookies, kids love to help.

Deep Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Equipment: 3-inch cookie cutters, rolling pin

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1-1/4 cups sugar

4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee

1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.

  2. Beat the butter in a mixer on medium speed until it’s creamy, using a flat paddle attachment. Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add the mixture slowly, in three batches, to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat on low speed just until incorporated.

    Be sure to adding the flour mix slowly in three batches and with the mixer on low speed— otherwise, the flour will fly out of the bowl and cover your walls if you’re too vigorous. Don't over mix, or you'll get a tough cookie.

  4. Roll the cookies out on a lightly floured surface to 1/3-inch thickness, and use the cookie cutter of your choice to cut out cookies. Transfer the cookies to pans.

    The baking directions in this recipe are for cookies that are 3 inches across, so aim for that when you choose a cookie cutter or, if you use a different size, monitor the cookies closely while they’re in the oven.

  5. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, rotating the sheet pans once halfway through baking.

    These are so dark that seeing if they’re beginning to color is impossible. Check to see if the edges and bottoms are completely dry. You should be able to lift a cookie up with a spatula to peek at the bottom; the cookie should be baked enough to remain stiff and not break.

  6. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and set them on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool. Then remove the cookies to the rack and let cool completely.

    Let the pans cool completely before proceeding with the next batch of cookies; otherwise, the uncooked dough will melt a bit and become misshapen.

    You can reuse the parchment once. Try flipping it over, making use of both sides.

Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. The cookies are best if eaten within one week.

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The Essentials of Ten Classic Christmas Cookies

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