Mocha Shortbread

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
4 dozen

Bake these mocha shortbread cookies 30 minutes for a softer texture, or 35 minutes for a more traditional crumbly texture.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

  • ½ cup cacao nibs


  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is very light, about 2 minutes. Stir vanilla and espresso powder together in a small bowl; add to butter mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Beat in cacao nibs. Press dough evenly into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan lined with parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and smooth top with hands or the bottom of a dry measuring cup. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a paring knife to cut dough into 48 bars, 8 across short side and 6 down long side. Use a fork or skewer to poke holes in top of each bar.

  4. Bake until set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, then recut bars. Let cool completely in pan before serving. Bars can be stored at room temperature up to 3 weeks.

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