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Chocolate Charms

The dusting of cocoa on these little cookies, much like that on a chocolate truffle, may seem to promise a similar velvety interior, but the illusion is fleeting. One bite reveals the unmistakable crumbly texture of shortbread. If giving as a gift, enclose about three tablespoons of cocoa powder in a small bag, along with instructions for dusting.

  • Yield: Makes 40
Chocolate Charms

Source: Christmas Cookbook 2003


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.

  2. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, and beat about 2 minutes more, until very light in color and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add vanilla, if using. Add flour mixture, and combine on low speed, scraping with spatula if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers. Form dough into a flattened disk; wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Using a spoon, form dough into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until firm, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool completely on wire rack. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

Cook's Note

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Reviews (17)

  • Since1982 2 Jan, 2015

    Ghiradelli has a Sweet Ground Cocoa that is nice for dusting truffles and cookies.

  • ACreech 21 Nov, 2012

    WOW! I don't really like shortbread, but I love Chocolate. This recipe is AWESOME! I chilled my dough overnight. It was a little too stiff the next morning so I left it out for about an hour and then used an ice cream scoop to form the cookies! Try it. I also just used the regular attachment with my stand mixer. I had to stop an use the spatula to scrape off the beater a little more, but it still worked.

  • carabau 18 Apr, 2012

    Sometimes I use a sweetened cocoa powder like Nesquick or Starbucks ( like the type you mix with milk for chocolate milk or hot chocolate) instead of the unsweetened or dutch chocolate.

  • jessieann2811 26 Jan, 2011

    where is the recipe???

  • iheartsb 5 Dec, 2010

    Anyone know of a cocoa powder to use when making these cookies? For the dusting part. Don't love the unsweetened cocoa for the top. Any suggestions?

  • Anarie 28 Jul, 2010

    Also, be sure you're using UNsalted butter. The amount of water in salted butter is less predictable. That doesn't matter much for some recipes, but in cookies or pastry, it can really change the results.

  • marniaH 28 Jul, 2010

    in response to two comments down from here, if your cookies are spreading i have 2 suggestions:
    1. make sure your oven is at the right temperature before putting the cookies in.

    2. try putting the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes before scooping out the cookies. sometimes if the dough is too warm the butter melts before it has the chance to create the steam necessary for cookies to rise.

  • blueberry_cheezcake 28 Jul, 2010

    @ laur_n: Paddle attachment is used basically for creaming the butter and sugar in all recipes w/c makes use of the creaming method, it is also use to blend ingredients together in some recipes. If your blender is the old fashion one, you can use the whip attachment that comes w/ it, but only use it on a lower speed. A wooden spoon is also a nice tool to blend ingredients together.

  • Alice514 19 Jul, 2010

    I've tried twice to make these cookies, but although they taste delicious, I have not been able to get a batch to look like the photo. Instead of retaining the round shape, they flatten out like snickerdoodles. Any suggestions.....?

  • lisamaria 1 May, 2010

    Wow! These are up there with one of my favorite cookies! I love shortbread, and these didn't disappoint. Chocolate and shortbread...can't go wrong!! Love this recipe. Very easy to make with delicious reults!

  • laur_n 16 Sep, 2009

    Does anyone know of an alternative to using a "paddle attachment" for the mixer? What does the paddle do? My mixer was my grandmother's from the 70s and doesn't have the fancy attachments. Thanks!

  • deecook 8 Sep, 2009

    these are one of the best chocolate cookies I have made, so rich and not too sweet, my husband says they are now his favorite

  • fanish 6 Sep, 2009

    What's the problem with printing out this recipe? Someone is sleeping on the job!

  • Lindee 5 Sep, 2009

    For now, until they fix it, just highlight the recipe and copy and paste into a word document and then you will be able to print it. Hope this helps

  • patcash 4 Sep, 2009

    Printed out just fine.

  • bienes 4 Sep, 2009


  • KarenW2 4 Sep, 2009

    Clicking on the PRINT link only brings up a BLANK page!! Please fix this problem, so I can print out a copy of the recipe and photo. Thank you.

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