Dark Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

heart shaped chocolate chip shortbread cookies on parchment
Am I the only one that gets a little teary-eyed at a number of Macklemore songs? His songs are just so inspirational and relatable…. Growing Up, Glorious, Same Love. I swear they could overlay any of these songs on a Lifetime movie or Olympic commercial and I would be a mess. (Update: they did, and I was.) 

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s time to celebrate all the love (which is probably why the song Same Love just gives me the feel-goods this time of year). What also gives me all the feel-goods, is that my extended family is growing by two!

My cousin and her wife will be welcoming twins (one of each!) in just a few short weeks. Growing babies (plural) is no easy task and can take a lot out of the mom-to-be. Sometimes dietary changes are needed to keep those babies happy and healthy, like cutting sugar to help with gestational diabetes.

Sometimes we still need to celebrate a HUGE life milestone with some tasty treats. So I whipped up some of these sugar-sensitive dark chocolate chunk shortbread cookies, which also happen to be gluten free  and paleo, for my cousin to celebrate with during her baby shower.

They start off with homemade chocolate chunks made with honey instead of refined sugar. Yes, you too can make your own chocolate chips. Simply melt baker’s chocolate, stir in some honey to taste and add a pinch of salt for complexity.

These cookies are quite tender with a crumbly biscuit-like texture and just a hint of sweetness. The coconut flour and oil add a delicate flavor which complements the dark chocolate chunks nicely. This recipe is adapted from The Healthy Foodie (thanks for the inspiration!).

Once you mix up the baker’s chocolate, honey and salt, spread it on a piece of wax paper. Fold the wax paper over the top of the chocolate paste and use your fingers to spread the mixture into a flat disk. Refrigerate until chilled and cut into chunks.

This time through, I used a rubber spatula to mix the wet ingredients into the shortening and pastry blender to mix in the dry, but I highly recommend making this recipe in the food processor. It comes together very quickly with a few quick pulses.

That dough does look pretty irresistible, and almost guilt free.

Use 2 tablespoons of dough to form the cookies into heart shapes. The dough may be a little dry and take some finessing, but the cookies don’t need to be smooth as the texture gives them a bit of character.

These alternative cookies are pretty addictive. As a traditional cookie lover, I was surprised to find myself sneaking back into the kitchen for seconds and thirds of this paleo treat. Give this recipe a try the next time you are looking for a guilt-free dessert. It’s also great for the classroom as it is low in allergens, and your office probably wouldn’t mind if you shared the love too!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

Yield: One dozen cookies

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and paleo. These slightly sweet, tender shortbread cookies are a great way to share the love.


    For the chocolate chunks:
  • 5 squares (50 grams) of unsweetened baker's chocolate
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of salt
  • For the cookies:
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 and 1/2-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


    For the chocolate chunks:
  1. Coarsely chop chocolate and add to a microwave safe container. Slowly melt in 20-second intervals, stirring after each time being sure not to burn, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Once melted, add in 2-3 tablespoons of honey to taste and a pinch of salt.
  3. Spread mixture into a thin layer on a piece of wax paper. Fold the wax paper over and smooth out the chocolate disk with your hands.
  4. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until hard, then remove and cut into small 1/4 inch chunks.
  5. For the cookies:
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond, coconut and arrowroot flours, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  7. In the bowl of a food processor, cream the shortening, honey and vanilla extract. Alternatively, use a rubber spatula to cream together ingredients.
  8. Add dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse until ingredients are well combined and resemble coarse sand. Pulse in the coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together. Alternatively use a pastry blender or your hands to mix all ingredients together until a dough is formed.
  9. Transfer dough to a mixing bowl, add chocolate chunks and knead delicately until combine.
  10. Using 2 tablespoons, form the dough into heart shapes (1/2" inch thick) and place on a piece of wax paper. Once all cookies are formed, fold over wax paper to cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm.
  11. Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place chilled, shaped cookies on pan.
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack and let cool completely. These cookies are the best the day they are baked but can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.


This recipe can be easily doubled.


Looking for more ways to share the love? Check out these Mini Chocolate Syrah Cupcakes.

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