Simple Chocolate Almond Shortbread is full of buttery flavor with a kiss of espresso and has a delicate crumb from the almond flour.Jump to Recipe
Nothing says ‘love’ like a homemade treat, so this Valentine’s Day I wanted to create a special cookie to share with my loved ones. This Chocolate Almond Shortbread is quite simple to make once you learn the technique of working with the dough and has the option to be vegan, as well. The flavor of this shortbread reminds me of Chokladsnittar, which are Swedish chocolate biscuits topped with pearl sugar. You will find that option for decorating below!
The Ingredients for Chocolate Almond Shortbread:
I truly love baking with almond flour, both for the texture and the flavor it imparts to baked goods as well as the benefit of creating a gluten-free product. I have had great success in all of my recipes using Anthony’s Goods Premium California Blanched Almond Flour.
To really pack a good pop of chocolate in these Chocolate Almond Shortbread cookies, I find that Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder gives a good depth of flavor and rich color.
To enhance that dark chocolate wonderfulness, add just a touch of instant espresso powder. I always have a jar on hand for recipes, like this Medaglia D’Oro brand.
Using a food processor to mix this dough will yield the best results, however it can be mixed by hand in a pinch. First the dry ingredients are pulsed together, then the butter and vanilla is added and mixed until a smooth dough comes together. If you want to make a vegan version of these shortbread, just substitute an equal amount of solid coconut oil for the butter. This will give a nice hint of coconut flavor which is always beautiful with dark chocolate.
Gather up the dough, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. This will make the dough a bit easier to work with when rolling out.
Because almond flour dough can be sticky, rolling it out between sheets of parchment paper is a great trick. This might take a bit of practice, but you will get a great result! I like to gently press the dough to flatten with my rolling pin before starting to roll out. You want about a 1/8-inch thickness to your dough for cutting.
This recipe makes 24 3-inch shortbread cookies, however you can use any size cutter you like! I chose hearts in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
Prepare a couple of baking sheets by lining them with parchment. The easiest way to transfer your cut cookies from the rolling parchment to the baking sheet is by using an offset spatula like below, as the dough is quite delicate.
You may gather up the dough scraps and re-roll them. This dough will not get tough from re-rolling.
If you want to make a very Swedish-style shortbread or biscuit cookie, sprinkle the tops of the cut-outs with pearl sugar before putting them in the oven. I like the Lars brand.
The cookies bake at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes at a 3-inch size. If yours are smaller, they may only take 5 or 6 minutes. Because this shortbread does not contain eggs, you just want them to get a light baking to prevent burning the almond flour.
Chocolate Piping on the Chocolate Almond Shortbread:
Another fun option for decorating the Chocolate Almond Shortbread cookies is to pipe melted white chocolate over the tops. I like to melt my chocolate in a microwave at half-power. Be sure to use a high-quality brand that actually contains cocoa butter (not white candy melts).
Once your chocolate is melted, prepare a piping bag by cutting a triangle from the corner of a sheet of parchment paper. The longest side of this one is about 12 inches.
Next, hold the triangle with the middle point below your chin and long flat side towards the ground. Bring the bottom two points of the triangle up one at a time to form a cone.
Wrap the sides around so that they meet in the back, opposite the point sticking up. The bottom point of the cone should be tightly closed.
Fold the top points down, one inside and one outside of the cone.
Now your bag is ready for the melted white chocolate.
Pour the white chocolate inside the bag, only about half way up the sides. Fold down the top of the bag and roll to keep the chocolate inside.
Cut off a very small amount of the cone tip to allow a thin drizzle of chocolate to come out when squeezed.
Decorate however you like! I went with a simple stripe.
Allow the chocolate to firm up before serving or storing the shortbread.
Chocolate Almond Shortbread makes a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift, especially packed in a pretty cookie tin 🙂
Serve the Chocolate Almond Shortbread for a delicious Valentine’s Day Fika with some nice rich coffee and feel the love!
Chocolate Almond Shortbread
- Food processor
- cookie cutter
- 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
- ⅓ cup confectioner's sugar
- ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or solid coconut oil, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- In a food processor bowl, combine almond flour, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt.
- Pulse in the softened butter or coconut oil and vanilla until a smooth dough comes together.
- Gather dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and while still wrapped, soften gently with your hands.
- Unwrap and place the dough disk between two 2 sheets of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to carefully roll the dough to a ⅛-inch thickness between the sheets of parchment.
- Use a heart or other shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Carefully transfer the cut-outs to the baking sheets using a spatula.
- Gather up dough scraps and re-roll.
- Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on pans.
Options and Tips:
- Using solid coconut oil in place of the butter will produce a lovely vegan shortbread!
- Dark or milk chocolate can also be used for drizzling in place of the white chocolate.
- Store cookies in an air-tight container. These will freeze well! Baked cookies can be frozen and then piped with chocolate before serving.
- Try adding a bit of cinnamon for another interesting flavor addition.