Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (Sandies or Meltaways)

December 15, 2012 in Categories: , by

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These dark chocolate shortbread cookies were actually an accident. They were one of the variations that I came up with (#3 to be exact) while I was trying to create my Decadent Double Chocolate Cookies (Nut-free, Coconut-free, Egg-free).  My first thought was complete disappointment that the texture was so crumbly and melty and shortbread like, even more “short” than the two variations previous.  Man!  This recipe has two eggs in it!  How can it make a shortbread!  I was frustrated (I was trying to develop a chewy cookie after all).  However, the flavor was so good that I decided to shelf that variation for future recipe development.  And this is the result!   A super luxurious dark chocolate shortbread cookie.  Drizzled with homemade white chocolate.  Perfect!

These are a dark chocolate cookie and they aren’t very sweet (but super chocolaty!).  If you want to make them sweeter, you can use semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet.  You could also add a Mexican chocolate kick to these by adding some cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

The white chocolate drizzle is a modification of this recipe from Paleo Parents (the only real modification is that I use less sugar).  I used evaporated cane juice to sweeten the sugar wich gives it an almost caramel color.  If you want a whiter white chocolate (which would be good if you wanted to add coloring), I would suggest using white sugar.  You could also melt white chocolate chips ( Lieber’s Decorating Chips and VeganSweets White Chocolate Chips are dairy-free) or use dark chocolate instead or just leave the cookies plain.

For those with sensitivities, these cookies are nut-free and coconut-free!  The recipe doesn’t even use starches!

Yield: 1 dozen

Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients (Dark Chocolate Shortbread):

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Melt chocolate and palm shortening together in the microwave or on low heat on the stovetop.  Let the chocolate cool slightly (maybe 4-5 minutes) before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Stir in vanilla and cocoa powder.
  4. Add eggs one at a time mixing very quickly as you add them so that they do not scramble.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Form cookie patties by spooning rounded tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet (it’s okay if the dough is still warm). Flatten with your hand or the back of a spatula or bottom of a glass, to about ¼” or slightly thicker.  These cookies don’t spread much while baking so whatever shape you make them now will be pretty much the finished shape.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet or a wire rack.
  7. Once cooled, drizzle with paleo white chocolate.  You could also drizzle with dark chocolate or eat them as is!

Ingredients (Paleo White Chocolate):

  1. Blend sugar in a food processor or blender until it forms a fine white powder (I used a Magic Bullet).  Mix sugar with arrowroot powder and set aside.
  2. Melt cocoa butter in microwave or over low heat on stovetop.  This takes longer than you think, so keep setting the microwave for one more minute, stir and check, one more minute, etc.  I think it took about 3 minutes in total, but it would depend on how big your chucks of cocoa butter are.
  3. Once the cocoa butter is melted, mix in sugar and arrowroot powder a little bit at a time whisking thoroughly to help the sugar dissolve.  If you wanted you could add a few drops of flavoring (vanilla, orange oil, cinnamon…  peppermint oil would completely rock and be like a Girl Scout Thin Mint in reverse! See my White and Dark Paleo Mint Chocolate Bark bark recipe).
  4. Let the white chocolate cool until it is still warm enough to be liquid but thick enough to drizzle. Place your cookies on a plate or piece of parchment paper (not touching each other) and use a spoon and drizzle over dark chocolate shortbread.  Let cool until hardened.  Enjoy!


Thanks for a such a simple and “legal” cookie recipe for the holidays! I’m trying to pin this recipe and it won’t let me–I keep getting the 502 message. I just pinned a bunch of others from your site so I know it’s not your site. Any ideas?

Been dying to try but haven’t been able to get to store to get Cream of Tartar. I Googled to see if they are any substitutions and tried using a little less than 1/2 tsp of baking powder in place of the baking soda+cream of tartar. Also used 1 tsp peppermint in place of one of the tsp of vanilla and sprinkled some Himalayan salt on top before cooking. No drizzle needed! SO FRICKIN GOOD!

Just put these in the oven but I’m afraid something went wrong–my “dough” was MUCH more like brownie batter than a cookie dough! I added a few T of almond flour to try to thicken them up so I’ll let you know how they turn out. Any ideas why they were so “wet”?

I’m looking at the ingredients and I thought this would end up like batter … maybe the key is to let the chocolate cool and thicken first? I’m sure there isn’t – but I feel there much be something missing

By the time I add all of the ingredients, the dough is still a little warm, and fairly thick. If you let it cool first, the oil separates out. It’s a bit greasy to make the cookie patties and is kind of playdo’h consistency.

mine is very wet also. two eggs too much?? ive put in tablespoon after tablespoon of almond flour, even some coconut flour, stirred it up each time, still runny…im chilling it a bit to see if that helps? i might just end up with tough as nail cookies. 😛

This recipe does not yield a firm “cookie dough”, but will firm up when cooked because the majority of the liquid comes from the eggs. I do suppose it’s possible your eggs were much larger than Sarah’s. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

My “go brand of has been Green & Blacks

Green & Blacks Dark 85

Recently I found Alter Eco Dark Blackout

Alter Eco Dark Blackout 85

Both are Organic. Both are 85%. Both are processed on shared equipment. Alter Eco is certified GF (though never had reaction from G&B’s). It also has only 4 ingredients (G&Bs has 5), less carbs, less sugar, more fat and more fiber per serving than G&Bs. Both are fine products though I prefer Alter Eco. G&Bs might be easier to find at a store. Hope this helps 🙂

Thank you for this fantastic, simple, easy, mix by hand recipe!!! Made a batch for a direct marketing afternoon and everyone raved and asked for the recipe!!! The first Paleo treat recipe I’ve tried that wasn’t heavy on the egg texture and actually tasted like the most decadent chocolate cookie!! Again, thank you!!!

NICE! I decided I wasn’t leaving the house this weekend. Then, I had a snack attack. I just made these and they are delicious! I’m not a fan of chocolate and they are doing the trick for me.

I might try using the almond flour next if I want a crispy cookie.

Thank you!

Î made these but mine came out very crumbly. I also used peppermint and not vanilla. Any suggestions to getting a cookie that does not crumble?

Did you make any other substitutions, or leave something out? Sarah recommends making her recipes exactly as written for the best results. I have not had that problem with this recipe, and can only guess that maybe your chocolate was overcooked, making it crumbly. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

thanks for the recipe, these were delicious! i did find the batter a bit wet and runny too, so I added a little bit of coconut flour and sweet rice flour, and they turned out fabulously! I have been paleo for over a year and have just recently discovered that I may have SIBO as I have bad gas, heartburn and other SIBO symptoms so I’ve been trying to cut back on any sweets, starches, nuts and nut flours etc so I was happy to see a cookie recipe that didn’t have much added sugar (besides the semi sweet chips I used) and no starches. They taste a cross between a shortbread and a sugar cookie, oddly enough. Terrific recipe!! THANK YOU! 🙂

Like many others, I had a more brownie-like consistency to the batter, but I just went with it and found it surprisingly kept it’s shape when I plopped it on the cookie sheet. I didn’t add anything to try and thicken it. I did use Enjoy Life chips as I didn’t have any real chocolate lying around, but I didn’t really care that they weren’t perfect circles. They are delicious. My only real complaint is that they are too easy to make with ingredients on hand! Luckily I don’t indulge often and these are for a social event tomorrow. Thanks!

I am new to paleo and just made these. They turned out great. My dough was more like brownie batter but the cookies came out nice and cakey! I used dairy free butter because I don’t know what palm shortening is and gluten free chocolate. Definitely something to take care of sweet cravings!

I’ve made these a few times and they turn out lovely. I recently found out about an egg allergy (i knew it was coming, but hoped I was wrong!), so I’ve been experimenting with how to sub eggs in various recipes (using the tips form this website). I’ve had varying successes, but in this recipe I subbed bout 1/3 cup of homemade applesauce for the eggs. I would have used more (as suggested on the tips page), but I ran out! But these turned out fantastic, however. The consistency was perfect and they are really chocolately and melty.

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