Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies

I’m baaaaaaaack! [Please note that that should be read in a cheerful, playful voice, not in a scary Jack-Nicholson-from-The-Shining-voice.]

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies | SugarHero.com

I took a short, unplanned hiatus from blogging after the holidays. It was a combination of post-trip fatigue, family illness, major website dramaz (big sigh) and a newfound love of sleep. I didn’t blog, I didn’t read any blogs (sorry!) and I didn’t do much, if anything, on social media. I thought it would be weird to be so disconnected, but it was actually amazing.

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies | SugarHero.com


[And here’s the part where I write a little more about blogging, so if you’re just here for the sugar, feel free to scroll down for a truly excellent shortbread recipe.]

I have several big goals for 2014, but the one that I’ve been focusing on on a daily basis is actually really straightforward and simple: get more sleep. The last few years have been rewarding, but they’ve also been kind of brutal. I thrive on keeping busy, but at some point, without realizing it, I drifted from being “pleasantly busy” to “insanely stressed and tired at all times.” And some of it was legitimate, but some of it was also self-created and, honestly, unnecessary.

I love all my work, but I have a particular soft spot for SugarHero. I love how it’s grown, and how it’s forced me to grow as well. But you know what else I love? Sleeping! And reading. And running. And taking the occasional weekend off without feeling crazy guilty or agitated. And all of these are things that I haven’t done consistently in far too long.

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies | SugarHero.com

This is all just a wordy way of saying that things might be a little different around here this year. In addition to hanging with my new BFF sleep, I’m also going to spend a lot of time redesigning the back end of the site, which is super boring, but will provide you with great features like an integrated recipe box, a full visual recipe index, and updated print and save features on the hundreds of old recipes on the site. I’m also working on a proposal for another book, and although my agent is being very patient, I don’t think she’s buying the excuse that yet another dog ate yet another manuscript file. The jig is finally up.

So, it’s possible that postings will slow down and be more sporadic this year. I hope that isn’t the case, and I’m planning to keep things business as usual, but I’m also committed to being more flexible and cutting myself a little more slack. To 2014! The year I work hard at not working hard!

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies | SugarHero.com

Thanks for indulging me in boring meta-blog talk. As a reward, I come bearing cookies!

Remember those Keebler shortbread cookies with chocolate stripes and chocolate on the back? And remember how they always looked delicious but tasted sort of like cardboard? Good news: they’re super easy to make at home, and they taste a million times better! No, a billion! No, a kajillion! I’m no math whiz, but I’m pretty sure those numbers mean you should make these cookies.

The cookies themselves are buttery wonders, with a crisp yet tender crumb that melts in your mouth. They’re covered with chocolate (not fudge! I don’t know why Keebler called them “fudge-striped,” but I followed suit like a mindless sheep), which is the perfect addition to the buttery cookies.

If you’re busy, or if you’re trying to get more sleep this year too, you can save some time by nixing the round cut-out shape and just cutting them into squares instead. These cookies don’t care! They’re delicious either way.

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies | SugarHero.com

One of your new year’s resolutions was to eat more cookies, right? Because that is exactly what you’re going to do with these. Good job, you go-getter!

Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies look like the kind you can buy in the store, but taste so much better! Crisp, buttery shortbread is coated with rich semi-sweet chocolate to make a delicious, beautiful treat.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 32
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3½ oz (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 11¼ oz (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 10 oz cold butter, cubed
  • 1 lb chocolate
  • Round cookie cutters
  • Chocolate thermometer (optional, only if you want to temper the chocolate)
  1. This recipe works best in a large (10-14 cup) food processor. If you have a smaller processor, you should make the dough in 2 batches, and if you don’t have one, a mixer can be substituted using the instructions that follow. Begin by combining the orange zest and sugar in a small bowl, rubbing them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and very fragrant.
  2. If you’re using a processor, combine the sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of the processor. Pulse briefly to mix the dry ingredients. Add the cubed butter and pulse in 5-second bursts, until the dough begins to clump together. Once it just comes together, turn it out of the bowl and knead it briefly into a ball.
  3. If you want to use a mixer instead, use room temperature butter, and combine the butter, orange-scented sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat them together until just combined, then add the flour and mix on low speed until blended. Turn the dough out and knead briefly by hand to incorporate any dry patches.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and roll each half between two sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper until it is ¼” inch thick. Refrigerate each sheet of dough on a baking sheet or cutting board until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Working with one sheet of dough at a time, cut out 3-inch circles. Use a small 1-inch cutter to cut a hole in the center of each one. You might want to wait a few minutes to cut out the center circle, because cutting the dough straight from the refrigerator might cause the firm cookie dough to crack. Re-roll the scraps and cut again, until you have about 32 circular cookies.
  6. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes, until they start to color and the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and, while still hot, press the cutters into the cookies again—the cookies will spread a little while baking, and re-cutting them after baking will keep the edges clean and neat. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheets before carefully removing them.
  7. Melt the chocolate, and dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate, then place it face-up on the baking sheet. Once all of the cookies are dipped, refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate. Then flip the cookies upside-down so that the chocolate is on the bottom. Transfer the rest of the melted chocolate to a plastic bag with a hole snipped in the corner, and drizzle lines of chocolate over the tops of the cookies. Refrigerate once more to set the chocolate.
If you want to keep these cookies at room temperature in a somewhat warm environment, I recommend tempering the chocolate instead of simply melting it. Tempering is a simple process of heating an cooling chocolate to specific temperatures, and it makes your chocolate shiny, smooth, and able to withstand warmth without getting soft or sticky. You can learn how to temper chocolate here. You’ll need a chocolate thermometer, but nothing else in the way of special equipment.


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44 Responses to Fudge-Striped Shortbread Cookies
  1. Let’s ALL raise a cookie to working less!! I hope it works out for you, and I can’t wait to hear about your new book! Happy New Year, and a big internet hug from me.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks friend! I’ll join you in that cookie toast for sure! I’m psyched about the book concept but that somehow hasn’t translated into putting in the work hours…whoops. :) Hugs to you too, and best wishes for an amazing year for my favorite Aussie!

  2. Danguole says:

    Yay you! You really are full of wonderful ideas, and as simple as “get moar sleeps” is, it is genius and I need to copy you, probably. Definitely hear you and I’m not even responsible for any tiny, adorable, super-blond humans.

    Also, can’t wait for another cookbook on my shelf–er, the top of my fridge. HOW EXCITING AND DELICIOUS.

    Happy 2014 my dear!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes, join my Get More Sleep club! Our meetings will be the best ever: call to order, take attendance, then nap. With some cookies at the end, of course. :) Thanks so much for the well wishes, and happy 2014 to you as well!

  3. A break can do wonders!!! Your recipes are so awesome that it doesn’t matter if there are less, because it gives us a chance to remake things again! Get some sleep, you deserve it!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you Jackie!! So sweet of you to say, and I think I’ll take your advice and grab more sleep. :) Happy new year to you!

  4. Leslie says:

    These cookies look so yummy! I love any kind of shortbread cookies. I found this post on Pinterest, where I am a new follower. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Here’s to more sleep! You deserve it girl.

  6. Liz says:

    I am always amused at your posts (not the working-less part, the cookie part!). I unplugged over the holidays too and it was amazing! It was time well spent that’s for sure! Looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store for you….Happy New Year! :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Happy new year to you too! It’s funny how I totally felt like I was playing hooky the whole time, when really, it’s *normal* take take breaks from work, right? (Right??) So glad you got a little break as well, and happy new year to you too!

  7. To working hard at not working as hard! I’ve thought about web redesign, but it sounds like such a pain. And another book? You go girl! I can’t wait to see and hear about all you’re getting done … you deserve a break! These cookies will satisfy my sweet cravings for a looooong time (happy, not scary voice;)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh my gosh, redesigning is the worst! Just when I think I’ve figured out how to get all my work done and balance my life, then to throw in a bunch of hours of web work, which, PS, I’m not all that great at…. *freaks out like a Cathy comic* At least there’s no rush so I can take it slow and steady! Thanks MF!

  8. Cheers to getting more sleep, and DOUBLE cheers to cutting yourself slack. It’s something we probably all need a reminder of. Me especially. I triple heart these cookies. They make me want to be 10 and read Judy Blume books :) Pinning.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Judy Blume!! How much did I love her books growing up?! I’d love to re-read them now, too, and see if they withstand the test of time. Thanks, Lisa, and here’s to hoping for a relaxing year for you as well. :)

  9. Okay so first the cookies–I used to buy those little elf ones at the store, and they never stood a chance to last more than 48 hours! I can’t imagine how amazing these homemade ones are!

    The sleep/life/work business. I’m SO GLAD to hear you are planning to take time and give yourself a break. Blogging can become so overwhelming to where it’s not even fun anymore. It’s amazing how much pressure we can put on ourselves when the reality is, we’re baking cookies, stacking them, and sharing them with the world. The world won’t end if we don’t share a recipe for a week. I have to remind myself the same thing in my real life job. I’m teaching kids how to sing and dance, and you’d think I was doing brain surgery. At the end of the day, I feel like we’re most worried about disappointing ourselves, and the only way we can do that is by altering our expectations. Sorry that was a really long way to say I totally feel you, and take that time lady! And while you’re at it, road trip over to Phoenix and go running with me? ;)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ari, how did I not remember you’re in Phoenix?! I was totally there over Christmas, AND I did some lonely solo runs! I am kicking myself now with my pointiest running shoes. Bummer! Next time for sure!

      So glad to know, too, that you get me! I totally say basically what you said to Jason all the time: “I know it’s just a dessert blog, and it’s not the end of the world…but it seems so important!” It’s funny how our perspectives can get totally skewed, right? Here’s to hoping for a relaxing, productive, satisfying 2014 for you!

  10. OH! And I’m SO excited that a new book is in the works!!

  11. im going to try them ..they look and taste delish ..i love shortbread thank you

  12. these are so perfect and pretty! I’m sure they are 100x better than the store-bought ones, too!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Sarah! I did the math, and they’re actually 105% better–whew! [I had to carry a lot of zeroes, but that calculation was worth it. :)]

  13. These look superb! We would love this cookie in our cookie jar – like, now! You did an awesome job with it, and it’s making me want shortbread asap. :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Amy! I agree, all cookie jars should come pre-filled with fudge-striped shortbread cookies! I’d buy those jars in a heartbeat!

  14. Dina says:

    i used to love these as a kid. these look great!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Dina! I tried them recently and was disappointed that they didn’t match up to how great they were in my memory–guess my adult taste buds are spoiled. :) Good thing I have this homemade version now!

  15. I love days of disconnection too. So many people are re-prioritizing right now. I love that you’ll be slowing down and doing good things for you!! Can’t wait to see what happens over the next year. We’ll still be here whenever you are – eagerly awaiting whatever amazing things come out of your kitchen!

  16. Amanda says:

    These look amazing, and are so cute! Pinning :)

  17. Johlene says:

    Hey there welcome back :-) Sorry for the late reply but I´ve been really busy! These look yummy as I´m sure they are ;-) Have a great week!! Xx

  18. What a perfect looking cookie. These would make a fab gift.

  19. Cheers to more sleep! These cookies wouldn’t stand a chance around me. I love the store bought one, but these look so much better!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Natasha! I’m not going to lie, I like these way better than the store ones–I think you need them in your life!

  20. BubbleChef says:

    reading ur blog with hiccups is really hard (**HICCUP**) lol great blog though

  21. You really deserve the break, darling! It’s better to get some relax often, and naps are always welcome hehe. Don’t worry about not blogging often ;–)
    I need to get some sleep too. And I need these cookies as well. Oh darn, they look too great. And pretty!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Consuelo! You are the sweetest. And yes, I am trying to be more pro-nap! It’s hard to ignore the voice saying I should keep working, but sometimes a good siesta is just what the doctor ordered!

  22. These cookies are perfect! So pretty and so delicious, I’m sure. I love shortbread! Beautiful job.

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