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5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Walnuts

Buttery, crisp shortbread cookies with plenty of chocolate flavor and a nice sugary crunch
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Refrigeration4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 33 mins
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Tricia


  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (158g)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder (27g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (5oz or 140g)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (57g)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup toasted walnuts, rough chopped (3oz or 85g)
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for coating the cookie dough log)
  • ¼ cup turbinado or other coarse sugar for rolling
  • Fine flake sea salt for garnish, optional


To prepare the cookie dough:

  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside
  • In a small measuring cup combine the vanilla and espresso powder. Mix until dissolved.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the soft butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and brown sugar. Blend on medium until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and blend again.
  • Add the vanilla and mix just until incorporated.
  • Add the flour in three additions and mix on low speed until incorporated. The dough will seem a little dry, but keep mixing, it will come together.
  • Add the walnuts to the cookie dough and mix together using a wooden spoon, or mix by hand.
  • Place the dough on a large piece of wax or parchment paper. Form the dough into a log 12-inches long and about 1 1/2-inches thick. Wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To bake the cookies:

  • To bake preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator while preparing the egg wash. Whisk together the egg yolk and water. Lightly brush the entire log with the egg wash. Pour coarse sugar down the middle of a piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll the dough log in the sugar to coat, pressing down firmly to adhere.
  • Using a large, thin, sharp knife, slice the log into 24 (½-inch) rounds. Place the cookies on the prepared cookies sheets about 1-inch apart.
  • Lightly sprinkle the tops of each cookie with sea salt, if using. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until the cookies are set and you start to smell baking chocolate. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.


PRO TIP: Lay a ruler next to the cookie dough log and make hashmarks with a knife at 1/2-inch intervals. This makes it easier to slice the dough into similar size cookies.
  • When slicing the cookies, use a sawing motion if needed to get through a large walnut. If the cookie dough splits or breaks apart, just piece the dough back together into a round. No worries!
  • The cookie dough can be made ahead and stored tightly wrapped in parchment and plastic wrap for 4 days before baking. The dough can also be frozen for up to a month. Defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator for about 4 hours before coating, slicing and baking. Or slice the cookie rounds and then freeze.
  • Don’t chop the walnuts too small, you’ll want some chunks, not just pieces.