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Spicy Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

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These Chocolate Shortbread Cookies have a hint of cayenne pepper in them which gives just a kick of heat to your tongue! They are small but feisty and make a great gift for the heat lover on your list.

If you are a fan of our traditional Whipped Shortbread Cookie but want to try something a little adventurous this year I highly suggest you whip up a batch of these little gems – even if you don’t LOVE heat you can easily cut back on how much cayenne pepper you use.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookie stars with festive sprinkles on baking sheet

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with heat!

I have a love for all things shortbread – which you probably know if you have followed us for awhile! I am always dreaming up new ways to make the classic recipe even better and this year I think we have created a new favorite cookie for those that like a little something extra.

We could’ve just stopped at a shortbread recipe with chocolate but what fun would that be? Mr. Olive loves anything spicy so I wanted to create a special cookie just for him to enjoy…and that’s where the cayenne pepper came into the mix! How great would these be as a teacher gift or even as a special thank you to your postal delivery person? Wrap up some extra heat and love this Holiday season with these adorable Spicy Chocolate Shortbread Stars.

Chocolate Cookie Dough rolled out with star cutouts and cookie cutter

FAQs for Shortbread Cookies

Here are some of the questions you guys have asked about making shortbread cookies over the years – if you have a question that isn’t here feel free to leave a comment or email us and we will respond as soon as we can!

What kind of chocolate to use in Chocolate Shortbread?

The type of chocolate you choose to use is a personal preference, however I find that a good semi-sweet chocolate is the way to go with these shortbread cookies! The chocolate isn’t overly sweet and compliments the heat from the cayenne perfectly.

How to make Chocolate Shortbread Cookies?

As with any shortbread cookie you make, you want to make sure that you are using good quality ingredients and you are not over-mixing when it comes time to combine the wet and dry. The less you overwork the dough the more buttery and delicious they will turn out. In order to make a chocolate version of traditional shortbread you add cocoa powder in with your dry ingredients rather than just sugar and flour.

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Spicy Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Stars

More great Shortbread Recipes

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You will want to make sure you have some adorable Cookie Cutters on hand for these cookies! We used a mini star cutter but you can use any shape you like.

Recipe for Spicy Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

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Chocolate Shortbread Cookies with Cayenne

A delicious shortbread cookie with luscious chocolate and a hint of cayenne pepper to add some heat! The perfect cookie to add to your Christmas Baking!
Course Christmas Baking, Christmas Cookie, Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine English, English-American
Keyword Chocolate Shortbread, Shortbread Cookies, Spicy Shortbread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Servings 48 small cookies
Author Melissa


  • Stand Mixer


  • 1 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Cubed Butter
  • ½ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Christmas Sprinkles


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, ensuring there are no lumps.
  • Add dry mix to stand mixer with cubed butter and using the whisk attachment cut the butter in until it resembles a coarse crumb.
  • Switch attachment to the paddle and mix the dough until smooth and then shape into a ball with your hands.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough to ½" thickness. Using a cookie cutter (I prefer a small star) cut out dough and place at least 1.5" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 11-14 minutes until the cookies are no longer shiny and have firm edges.
  • Allow to cool completely before drizzling with chocolate and topping with sprinkles.

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