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Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Soft, buttery, and packed with chocolate, this tender chocolate chip shortbread is the perfect holiday dessert. It’s rich, decadent, has a golden brown top, and is super quick and easy to make. 

Close up of a stack of two triangular pieces of chocolate chip shortbread, with more pieces in the background.


My favorite thing about the holidays is the food. It’s cozy, comforting, celebratory, and perfect for a cold holiday evening. And this chocolate chip shortbread recipe has quickly become one of my go-to treats during the holiday season.

These chocolate chip shortbread cookies have everything I want in a holiday dessert. They’re rich and decadent, but not too heavy. They’re loaded with chocolate and vanilla, and they taste like something that came from your favorite bakery. And best of all, they’re easy to make and don’t take long at all to bake. You’ll love them! 

Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Chip Shortbread Recipe

These buttery, chocolate-filled shortbread cookies are a recipe I make all the time in the fall and winter. Here’s why you need to give this shortbread a try.

  • So easy. This is one of the simplest dessert recipes I know. It only uses 6 common household ingredients, and it takes less than 25 minutes to make. The recipe is so easy to follow, so you can comfortably throw this chocolate chip shortbread together anytime you’re craving it.
  • Affordable. Buying treats at the bakery gets very expensive. And even making a lot of desserts at home can add up. That’s definitely not the case with this recipe, which uses basic kitchen staples that won’t break the bank. 
  • Perfect for the holidays. I recommend making this chocolate chip shortbread recipe year-round, but it’s especially perfect at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s. The soft and buttery dough that’s packed with chocolate chips and warm vanilla just screams holidays. 
  • Versatile. While these shortbread cookies are decadent, they’re not too heavy or overly rich. As a result, you can serve them all through the day. They’re a great treat to serve for dessert at a holiday party, but they’re also a perfect mid-morning or early-afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or tea. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for chocolate chip shortbread: a bowl of flour, a bowl of sugar, a bowl of chocolate chips, a bowl of salt, a bowl of vanilla, and a stick of butter.

What You’ll Need

Here are the common pantry ingredients that you’ll need to make rich and tender chocolate chip shortbread. Be sure to check out the recipe card at the end of the page for the exact amounts of each ingredient. 

  • Unsalted butter – The butter needs to be at room temperature.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract – Always use 100% pure extract.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Mini chocolate chips – If you don’t have mini chocolate chips, you can cut chocolate chunks or chips into small pieces. 

How To Make Chocolate Chip Shortbread 

Here’s how to make this simple 25-minute holiday dessert. It really couldn’t be any easier!

  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 375F. 
  • Cream the butter. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl, then beat until fluffy and smooth.
  • Add vanilla. Pour the vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  • Mix in the flour. Add the flour and the salt to the bowl and mix until it begins to form a dough.
  • Add chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate chips into the bowl, and fold them in with a spatula.
A mixing bowl with shortbread dough, chocolate chips, and a spatula.
  • Put in a cake pan. Add the shortbread dough to a ungreased 8-inch cake pan. Lightly press the dough down until it’s spread evenly. 
Chocolate chip shortbread dough pressed into a cake pan.
  • Bake. Put the shortbread in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. 
  • Score. Remove the shortbread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then score into 8 pieces with a knife.
Chocolate chip shortbread in a pan, scored into triangular shapes.
  • Cool. Remove the shortbread from the pan, and let it cool on a wire rack. 

Tips for Success

Here are some tricks and tips to use when you make these golden brown chocolate chip shortbread cookies.

  • Don’t over-mix. It’s really important to not over-mix the shortbread dough. Once the flour is combined with the butter and the mixture turns into a dough, stop mixing. If you keep mixing the dough, it will result in shortbread that’s heavy and dense. 
  • Use good butter. These chocolate chip shortbread cookies are so buttery. The rich and creamy butter taste really shines through and is a prominent flavor, so you’ll really benefit from using high-quality butter. The flavor of the shortbread cookies will be so much better if you use butter that’s good quality, and the texture will be better, too. 
  • Cool completely. It’s really hard to be patient with this chocolate chip shortbread cookie recipe because it will leave your entire home smelling like a perfect holiday dessert. But it’s important to let the shortbread cool completely before eating it. Otherwise, it won’t have that traditional shortbread texture that we all love. 
Overhead view of eight pieces of chocolate chip shortbread cut into triangles.

Serving Suggestions 

I usually serve chocolate chip shortbread with a drink. Whether it’s a caffeinated drink in the morning or afternoon, or an alcoholic drink in the evening, this holiday shortbread goes perfectly with a cozy beverage. Here are a few of my favorites. 

How to Store Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Leftover chocolate chip shortbread should be stored in an airtight container. The cookies will last at room temperature for 5 days, or in the fridge for 10 days. 

Can I Freeze These?

You can definitely freeze these cookies. All you have to do is place them in an airtight container and they’ll last in the freezer for 6 months. Let the buttery chocolate chip shortbread cookies thaw at room temperature or in the fridge before eating.

Two pieces of chocolate chip shortbread on top of each other, with two pieces in the background.

More Easy Cookie Recipes 

Cookies are one of my favorite desserts. Not only are they super delicious, but they’re usually quick and easy to make. Here are some more of my favorite easy cookie recipes for you to try out.

Yield: 8

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Close up of a triangle of chocolate chip shortbread, with more pieces in the background.

Chocolate chip shortbread is buttery, tender, and loaded with chocolate. It's so easy to make, and the perfect holiday dessert.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 375º F
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and mix to combined.
  4. Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix until the ingredients are well combined and a dough starts to form.
  5. Add the chocolate chips, and use a spatula to carefully fold them in.
  6. Press the shortbread dough into an ungreased 8-inch cake pan.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the shortbread edges are golden brown.
  8. Remove the shortbread from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then score into 8 pieces with a knife.
  9. Remove the shortbread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.


  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, in the fridge for 10 days, or in the freezer for 6 months.
  • For the best flavor and texture, use a good-quality butter.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

16 Servings

Amount Per Serving Calories 261Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 31mgSodium 69mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 2g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Thursday 21st of December 2023

Do I need to grease pan or use parchment paper

Erin S

Thursday 21st of December 2023

Nope, the instructions specifically say to press into an ungreased pan


Monday 18th of December 2023

I am drooling over this treat! I am sure it will be our favorite afternoon snack!


Friday 15th of December 2023

I love shortbread cookies, and I love chocolate chips. This seems like a winner to me! I can't wait to make it. It looks delicious.


Thursday 1st of December 2016

These look delicious! I will be sure to try this recipe out for the holidays!

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