Chocolate Malt Shortbread Cookies

chocolate malt shortbread
chocolate malt shortbread

A good chocolate malt is one of life’s greatest dessert pleasures. At least for me.

What are chocolate malt shortbread cookies? Well to answer that you have to know what is a chocolate malt. Or really what’s a malt? Many people may be familiar with the term from ice cream shops or candy. A malt is like a milkshake, but much thicker. Essentially it’s a milk shake with malt powder added. Or you may be familiar with malt ball candy like whoppers (which I weirdly don’t care for despite loving the ice cream form).

Malted milk powder is sprouted barley and wheat, dried and ground with evaporated milk. It adds a sweet, nutty, caramel-like taste. You can add it to tons of things but ice cream is one of the most popular. I have used it before in my Chocolate Malt Milk Buns and my Fun Rainbow Malted Milk Blondies.

If you’ve never had a chocolate malt milkshake before, they are actually made with vanilla ice cream. Maybe not universally, but all the ones I have had (and love) are. It’s vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, milk and malted milk powder. So when I made these chocolate malt shortbread cookies I took the same approach. It’s a vanilla malted cookie, with chopped chocolate bar.

Baking Tips

Because malted milk powder will feel powdery like flour, you might think you want to replace some of the flour with it but actually it behaves like a sugar. So it may feel like there is slightly too much flour in these but they will bake up just right.

Shortbread cookies can be cooked for a range of time and it will change their structure a little bit. If you want crisper cookies, bake them on the longer side of the bake time, for softer ones, you want to take them out earlier.

Make sure to chop your chocolate somewhat finely. Large chunks of chocolate will make slicing through the cold cookie dough more difficult and may lead to misshapen or uneven cookies.

Chocolate Malt Shortbread Cookies Key Ingredients

  • Malted Milk Powder – Malted milk powder should not be confused with powdered milk. While they both may have powdered milk, malted milk powder has other ingredients like barley in it. King Arthur and Carnation both are great options.
  • Chocolate Bar – I tested this recipe with both semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Either works great, but personally I preferred the milk chocolate. Whatever your favorite is, use that but as always, higher quality chocolate will always perform and taste better.
  • Butter – As with ANY shortbread cookie, butter is kind of the star of the show! Even though these are chocolate malt shortbread, the butter flavor is still important and present. When making shortbread (or scones) I always splurge for good butter with a higher butterfat percentage.

Chocolate Malt Shortbread Cookies

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Prep: 1 hour 45 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
Servings: 15 Cookies


  • 113 g Unsalted butter ½ cup
  • 60 g Powdered sugar ½ cup, sifted
  • ½ tsp Sea salt
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 28 g Malted milk powder 4 tbsp
  • 125 g AP Flour 1 cup
  • 60 g Chopped milk chocolate


  • Have a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap about 12×12 laid out on your counter.
  • In a medium bowl and hand mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attached, beat your butter and powdered sugar together until creamy and smooth.
  • Add in your salt, vanilla and malted milk powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Add in your flour. If using a mixer, mix on low until flour is incorporated and crumbly.
  • Add your chopped chocolate and mix into the dough with a rubber spatula until evenly dispersed.
  • Using your hands, push the dough together with your hands until it becomes a a large ball or mass. Move the dough to your parchment or plastic wrap.
  • Shape the dough into a log shape (round or square) and wrap in your plastic wrap or parchment.
  • Place your cookie dough into the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • After your dough has chilled at least one hour, remove it from the refrigerator and wrapping then slice into slices that are about ¼" thick.
  • Place your slices onto your cookie sheet giving them about 1½-2 inches space and place directly into the oven.
  • Bake your cookies for 12-15 minutes. For softer cookies right around the 12 minute mark the cookies should be set and ready to come out. If you want crisper cookies, wait a few more minutes until the edges have started to brown.
  • If cooking softer cookies, let your cookies stand on the baking tray for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Crisper cookies can be removed after about 1 minute.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!

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