Chocolate Almond Shortbread

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This recipe, submitted by Betty Koenig, won second place in 2012. She adapted it from a shortbread recipe, and although the shape of these cookies might bring a different holiday to mind, Koenig said she sees them tied to Christmas. “The essential part of Christmas is love,” she wrote. “The heart of Christmas is just that.”

Preparation Time45 min

Preparation Time - Text45 minutes; chill time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time20 min

Cooking Time - Text20

Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free

Equipmentelectric mixer



Taste and Texturebuttery, chocolatey, crisp

Type of Dishcookie, dessert


  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup almond meal or very finely ground unblanched almonds


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer. Add the vanilla and salt; beat or mix to blend. On low speed, add the flour, cocoa and almond meal, mixing well.

  2. Divide into 3 pieces; wrap in plastic wrap and chill, 30 minutes. Roll out dough, one piece at a time, on a lightly floured surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters; transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

  3. Bake, in batches if necessary, until slightly firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in airtight containers. Can be frozen for months.


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