Perfectly Imperfect Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

It’s a Holiday Cookie Exchange and I’m baking Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies sprinkled with yummy toppings.

Welcome Friends!

Today I’m joining a fun group of blogging pals for a Holiday Cookie Exchange.

You’re going to love all of these amazing holiday cookie recipes.

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Holiday Cookie Exchange post collage.

I was up all night baking … and sampling.

One can never do too much quality control.

Without further ado, here’s what I’m bringing to the party!


An old classic adapted from Betty Crocker. I love old, classic cookbooks, especially the ones inherited from my mother. Like Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book. The Joy of Cooking has the best roll cookie recipe, an old stalwart that I’ve baked every Christmas for as long as I can remember. And nothing beats those spiral bound cookbooks created as fundraisers for various local clubs and charitable organizations.

Cook books sitting on butcher block kitchen island next to topiary.

My Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie recipe follows, but first a few notes. You can mix this shortbread dough by hand in a bowl, but I prefer using my KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment. And instead of cookie cutters, I rolled the dough into a tube shape. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. I refrigerated my dough overnight.

It should be about 12″ in length and 2″ diameter. Mine are perfectly imperfect and not quite round. I tried.

Tube of wrapped cookie dough on cutting board.

When ready to bake, measure and mark at 1 cm each before cutting. Then place the rounds on parchment lined baking sheets. I love Reynolds parchment baking sheets, they fit into a full-size baking sheet so there’s no need to cut or tear the parchment paper from a roll (which rarely ends well for me). This recipe makes just over 2 dozen cookies.

Tube of cookie dough with tape measure laying across it.

You can get about 18 cookies on a sheet.

Shortbread cookie dough rounds on parchment lined cookie sheet.

When melting the chocolate for dipping sauce, you can do it in a microwave (at 50% power, in 30 second intervals, stirring in between) but I prefer to use a double boiler at a very lower simmer. Stirring continuously. Use the best melting chocolate you can get … it makes a difference. I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Overhead shot of bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

Once the cookies are dipped, return them to the parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping of your choice. I used sea salt, toffee, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios. Crushed candy canes would be very festive and Christmasy, but I don’t like peppermint … so everyone else must suffer.

Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate setting on a cookie sheet.

These cookies are so easy and a fun recipe to bake with kids.

Cookie Baking Essentials ~

Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies on tiered tray.

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Classic shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with fun toppings. Adapted from Better Crocker.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 2 dozen cookies



  • 1 cup Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

Chocolate Dipping Sauce

  • 12 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips Use a good quality chocolate. I used Ghirardelli.


  • Sea salt, minced toffee, candy canes, pecans, hazelnuts, or anything else that suits your fancy



  • In a stand mixer, beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until combined. Add flour and continue mixing until it forms a dough. If dough is crumbly, mix in another 1-2 Tbsp of butter.
  • Form dough into a ball. Place on floured surface and roll into a tube approximately 2" in diameter and 12" long. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat over to 350, at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Unwrap dough and using a tape measure mark dough every centimeter. Cut at marking into discs and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake approximately 15 minutes. Start checking the oven at 12 minutes until dough sets and bottom on cookies is light golden brown. Tops should not brown.
  • Remove from oven onto cooling racks until completely cooled. At least 30 minutes.

Chocolate Dipping Sauce

  • Using double boiler, bring water to light simmer. Add chocolate chips to top pan and stir continuously until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Pour chocolate into warmed (warm with hot water and then wipe until dry) small bowl or glass measuring cup.
  • Dip each cookie halfway into chocolate, let excess drip off and set back onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Immediately sprinkle desired topping over chocolate and let cookies completely set.

These cookies are so good I could eat the entire batch myself. But I didn’t. As soon as the cookies were fully set, I did my quality control and then packaged them in old fashioned tins for easy gifting and transport.

Christmas tin filled with chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.

Cookie tins remind me of my grandmother’s house at Christmas. She attended many cookies exchanges and had tons of tins chilling in the basement. Every morning she sent my Grandpa Hank to the basement so she could refresh her sideboard which was covered with tiered trays and platters filled with every imaginable type of cookie.

Holiday Cookie Tins ~


I also packaged a few small gift bags for friends.

Celephane bag of chocolate dipped shortbread cookies tied with a ribbon sitting on kitchen towel.

So there you have it, Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies.

Now let’s visit my friends to see what they’re bringing to the Cookie Exchange!







If you want to be the Cookie Exchange Party hostess with the mostest, mix up a batch of Cranberry Tequila Punch.

Still shopping for holiday gifts, be sure to check out my gift ideas here.

I’ll be back Saturday when I join Kim and Elizabeth for our weekend inspirations.

Woman standing on beach under pier.

Tell me, what’s your favorite holiday cookie?

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  • 5 stars
    I am not much for baking cookies although I love to bake. And do enjoy a good shortbread! So I am going to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing. They look delicious.

  • Oh I do LOVE a Christmas Cookie Exchange! And making Holiday Shortbread Cookies to gift and share is always a delicious choice. Yum!

  • 5 stars
    Juliet, your cookies look beautiful and delicious! I cannot wait to make these. I love old cook books and the memories of baking with my mom and my grandmother. You mentioned a few of my favorites, I will have to pull them out and see what I can add to my tray.
    Thank you for joining the cookie exchange.

  • I think these look perfect and sound delicious, Juliet! Love the different toppings, and your little gift bags are so cute! So fun joining you all for this cookie exchange!

    • Oh Linda, I love and miss your Christmas baking. Those were good days at St. Francis when I could enjoy your wonderful baking. xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Your shortbread cookies look beautiful. Now go to bed, you were up all night. You are something else again. By the way they look perfect, and I bet very tasty. Will make a very thoughtful gift.

  • These look and sound delicious. Especially glad to hear that “Quality Control” approved. I’m definitely going to bake these. Forget the hassle of cookie cutters! Love the little story of your grandma and her baking, and sending grandpa to fetch more tins from the basement. Holidays and memories of loved ones are the best.

    • Deanna, rest assured I run a rigorous quality control program over here! I agree, memories of holidays past are so precious. xo

  • Juliet those look so good and yes perfect to me! Love the idea that you can put your favorite nuts on it. I would try pistachio. Also so pretty the way you wrapped them with the gorgeous ribbon to gift! I agree the old cookbooks are so good and I treasure my mom’s Betty Crocker ‘Cooky Book’ and some of my grandma’s cookie collections from KGO and the church. I was just reading through some of those recipes and they call for mayo and potato buds in cookies! We were cracking up.
    Well this generation has upped the game, and your cookies are no exception. Saving these to my xmas collection. xo

  • Oh these look absolutely delish, and I think they look “perfect” as a rolled and slice cookie. Shortbread is one of my faves at Christmas. Hey Juliet, I would love to see your hot cocoa recipe! . Happy Holidays!

    • Hi Karen, and thank you so much. Shortbread are the best … and so easy. My morning cocoa is made with 8 oz of 2% milk and about 1-3/4 Tbsp Starbuck’s cocoa powder. I buy it on Amazon. And, of course, I make it in A Breville milk brother. My model is old and no longer available, but they have a newer, fancier version. xo

  • Lovely shortbread cookies, Juliet — the dipped end and various sprinkles are very elegant! I, too, have a reverence for older, classic cookbooks from “our youth” ( or even the 50’s)! I will definitely give this a try. Our local “do it all” restaurant, The Cafe (high quality B,L,D and bakery) serves a chocolate pots de creme with a tiny quarter-sized round shortbread cookie and I bought some the last time we had a dinner party to go with lemon posset (fabulous easy do-ahead dessert), but this recipe would be great to have in the freezer instead.

    • Joan, I love the idea of a shortbread topping a pot de creme. I have a super simple pot de creme recipe … and shortbread is easy too. I’m going to try it for a fun, easy holiday dessert! xo

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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