Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Pistachios and Sea Salt

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! St Patty’s tends to be a holiday that I forget about. I’m always the girl who gets pinched because she doesn’t wear green, but I couldn’t let the day go by without posting something with at least a little bit of green in it.

Dark Chocolate Shortbread

Holiday or not, I love shortbread. Remember these cookies? And these? Yes, my love of shortbread runs deep, and when I found a recipe for chocolate shortbread in my new beloved Bouchon BakeryΒ cookbook, I new I had to give it a try. This shortbread recipe is so simple to make, and requires ingredients that you probabaly already have on hand- flour, butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Mix ’em up, roll ’em out, and you have the perfect tea time snack. These were delicious right out of the oven, but I took them a step further and dipped them in bittersweet chocolate. I also added some chopped pistachio and a few flakes of Fleur de Sel, a French sea salt with a delicate flavor.

Dark Chocolate Shortbread

If you’re vegan, have no fear. This recipe is really easy to veganize. Sub vegan buttery sticks (like Earth Balance) for regular butter. A lot of bittersweet chocolate is already dairy free, but if you’re concerned, you can get certified vegan chocolate or chocolate chips at a lot of grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Pistachios and Sea Salt
cookie recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery

For the cookies:
13 tablespoons (180 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (90 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 3 (240 grams) tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy and smooth.
2. Add the sugar and salt and beat on medium until combined, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
4. Add the flour and cocoa in 2 additions, beating on low after each addition. Beat on low until the flour and cocoa have just disappeared into the dough.
5. Form the dough into a block, and roll out in between 2 pieces of parchment paper. I rolled mine out about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
6. After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Cut the cookies into squares or use a cookie cutter (I used a round cutter). Place the cookies one inch apart on the parchment paper and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch.
8. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

For the chocolate/pistachio coating:
4 oz. (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pistachio meats
A few flakes of Fleur de Sel or other good quality sea salt (such as Maldon)


1. One the cookies have baked and cooled, line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
2. Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals until smooth, dip each cookie in chocolate, and place on waxed paper.
3. While the chocolate is still wet, top with pistachios and a few flakes of Fleur de Sel.


  1. i love salt and chocolate together so much! I just bought a salted dark chocolate bar last night from Trader Joes and can’t wait to have some tonight after dinner. These cookies look wonderful – so elegant and I’m glad you went the extra mile to dip them in more chocolate. Love pistachios too.
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted…Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake.My Profile

    1. Thanks, Sally! I know which chocolate bar you are talking about. I have indulged in those on several occasions!

  2. I heard about this salt before and now that I was reminded, I bought it! πŸ˜€ These chocolate shortbread cookies look so YUM (and pretty…)!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted…Garlic Miso Chicken Bento ガーγƒͺγƒƒγ‚―ε‘³ε™Œγƒγ‚­γƒ³εΌε½“My Profile

    1. Thanks, Nami! I love fleur de sel, especially in dessert. I hope you like it too!

  3. Beautiful cookies! The green looks so good on them. Just pinned them! These cookies will work for me not only on St. Patrick’s day!
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Spicy Asian noodles and mushrooms, with snow peasMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the pin, Julia!

  4. […] Double Funfetti Shortbread Cookies to Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Pistachios and Sea Salt, there’s nothing ordinary about The Cake Merchant’s bite-sized […]

  5. Are you sure this recipe is correct? I followed your recipe exactly and my cookies completely melted into blobs in the oven and had to be thrown away. After looking more closely at your recipe I think there may be a typo in the amount of flour.

  6. I made your recipe last night and it turned into a melted mass in the oven. I believe the flour amount is incorrect. Your recipe has 1/2c plus 3 T of flour marked as 280 grams. That is more like 2 cups of flour plus. For the amount of butter in the recipe 1 cup of cocoa flour mixture does not seem like enough please let me know. Thanks

    1. I had the same issue as Carina – they flattened out when baking, and turned to crumbs when I tried to remove them from parchment. I love the idea, but I’ll be trying a different shortbread recipe in the future.

  7. These cookies turned into a melted mess:(

    1. I had the same issue where it became a pool of chocolate. I thought maybe it should have been powdered sugar instead since the chocolate chip shortbread is that way so I tried it again tonight. They didn’t melt together but the taste is just not right. Maybe too much cocoa powder?

      1. I’m not sure what happened. It’s been a really long time since I made these, so I’ll have to go back and test them again.

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