These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Sourdough Discard Chocoalte Shortbread Cookies are so delicious yet so easy to make. Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang that complements the rich flavor of chocolate. They stay fresh for weeks so they are perfect for gift-giving!
This post is another collaboration with Mimi Council. Mimi specializes in cookies (in fact she wrote a book on it), so when she developed this recipe, I knew I’d be in for a treat.
Why I love this recipe
- Easy and straightforward with no special equipment required
- Dough is mixed all in one bowl
- Shortbread cookies are endlessly adaptable
- Stay fresh for weeks, perfect for gift-giving
Baking with sourdough discard
Sourdough discard adds a great tangy flavor to these cookies. Since you are not using it to make bread, your sourdough starter does not need to be activated or fed for it to work in this cookie recipe. So, you can use your discard directly from the fridge. Older discard will have a tangier, acidic flavor than freshly-fed sourdough starter. Both will work for this recipe, you’ll get a slightly different result but your cookies will still be delicious.
Looking for more ways to use excess sourdough starter? Check out my favorite Sourdough Discard Recipes.
What you need
Salted butter: This recipe does not contain salt and depends on salted butter to enhance the flavor of the remaining ingredients. If you only have unsalted butter on hand, add ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to your dough.
Vanilla extract and espresso powder: Complements and enhances the flavor of chocolate, you can leave these out if you don’t have any in your pantry.
Cocoa powder: This recipe uses Dutch-processed cocoa powder, like my recipes for Sourdough Crinkle Cookies, Sourdough Brownies. Use high-quality cocoa for the best results. Don’t substitute natural cocoa powder as it has a different flavor.
Sourdough discard: If you don’t have any sourdough discard, you can use freshly-fed sourdough starter or simply add 22 grams of water and 22 grams of flour to your cookie dough.
I love how adaptable these cookies are, this recipe calls for dark chocolate, but you can also use white chocolate or milk chocolate. I love finishing mine with flaky sea salt and ground nuts! You can even use candy cane for the holidays. For a more sophisticated take use edible flowers or pink peppercorns.
STEP 1: Stir butter, vanilla extract and powdered sugar together.
STEP 2: Fold in remaining ingredients until a stiff dough forms.
STEP 3: Roll dough into a log, about 14 inches long, refrigerate.
STEP 4: Cut the cookie dough into 28 portions, about ¼-inch thick each.
STEP 5: Bake at 350 F for 24 to 26 minutes, sprinkle cane sugar on top of warm cookies.
STEP 6: Dip cooled cookies into melted chocolate and finish with toppings (if using).
Absolutely! To make the dough in a mixer:
With a paddle attachment, mix the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract on low until combined and there are no butter chunks. Add the flour, cocoa powder, discard, and espresso powder. Mix on low until a stiff dough forms.
Yes, you can use freshly-fed sourdough starter or simply add 22 grams of water or 22 grams of flour to your dough.
Yes! Don’t forget to add ¼ teaspoon of salt into the dough or your cookies will taste bland.
Your shortbread cookies most like spread because the dough was too warm. Make sure you chill your dough before baking!
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Sourdough Discard Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Recipe
- small sauce-pan
- instant read thermometer
- 236 grams salted butter softened
- 142 grams powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 43 grams sourdough discard
- 255 grams all-purpose flour
- 43 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- Make the dough: Combine butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir until combined and no chunks of butter remain.236 grams salted butter, 142 grams powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Stir in sourdough discard until there are no traces of sourdough discard.43 grams sourdough discard
- Add in the flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Fold the ingredients in until a stiff, cohesive dough forms255 grams all-purpose flour, 43 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- Chill the dough: Turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Form a log that’s about 14 inches long.
- Wrap the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut the cookies into 28 cookies that are about ¼-inch thick. Place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake: Bake for 24 to 26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and bottom.
- Sprinkle with cane sugar immediately after coming out of the oven. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Melt the chocolate: Add ⅔ of chocolate chips to a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Place a small saucepan with an inch of water over medium heat. Once the water begins to simmer, place the bowl with chocolate on top.
- Using the double boiler, melt the dark chocolate, stirring often until an instant-read thermometer registers around 115 F. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate.
- Finish the cookies: Half dip the cookies or drizzle chocolate on top. Finish cookies with additional toppings, if using.
- Store: Store in a cool dry place for up to 5 days or in an airtight container in the fridge.