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Marbled Shortbread Cookies

Buttery cookie base, sweet coffee caramel, and luscious chocolate top layer, these Marbled Shortbread Cookies are a household favorite. Make them and you will know why!

Marbled shortbread cookies stacked on a platter.

Good, good day my baking friends! Today, I have something special for you. We have these pretty and delicious little gems that you can make for your next baking project. Chocolate Marbled Shortbread Cookies.

My kids have not really expanded their cookie preferences. They are still very much into chocolate chip cookies, and sometimes sugar cookies. I think that is partly because I have not made any other type of cookies so much, so their exposure is limited. But for my birthday last year, I was gifted The Book of Cookies by Pat Alburey, and from it came a cookie recipe that changed our lives.

Top view of marbled shortbread cookies on a plate.

Marbled Shortbread Cookies

  • These cookies have a buttery shortbread base.
  • The middle layer is a sweet and creamy caramel that is infused with coffee.
  • The top layer is a delicious spread of semi-sweet and white chocolate swirled together.
Close up shot of the Marbled Shortbread cookie layers.
The ingredients for the Marbled Shortbread Cookies

How to Make Marbled Shortbread Cookies?

Make the Shortbread. Just like making pastry, we first combine the dry ingredients- sugar, flour and salt. Then we cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Gather the Shortbread Dough into a Ball and Press into a 9×13 baking pan. With your hands in the bowl, knead and combine the dough until it gathers into a single mass. Transfer it into a 9×13 pan and press it with your fingers to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Prick the surface with the tines of the fork.

Making the shortbread dough (left) and the shortbread pressed into a pan (right).

Chill and Bake The Shortbread. Place the pan in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. After the chill time, bake the shortbread for 25 minutes at 350 F, or until it is lightly golden. Let it cool completely.

Make the Caramel Layer. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, condensed milk, instant coffee granules, sugar, and golden syrup. Cook this over medium heat, stirring often until the butter melts. Bring it to a gentle boil, and maintain it for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and it coats the back of the spoon. Pour and spread the caramel over the cooled shortbread. Allow the caramel to cool.

A collage photo showing how to make the caramel layer for the marbled shortbread cookie.

Make the Chocolate Layer. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the semi-sweet chocolate for 15-20 seconds at a time, repeating as needed, until the chocolate is shiny and soft. Stir the chocolate to melt completely. Spread it over the cooled caramel layer using an angled spatula.

Melt the White Chocolate in the Same Manner and Transfer it into a Small Ziploc Bag. Snip one corner of the bag to make a small opening. Pipe the white chocolate in horizontal lines over the semi-sweet chocolate, spacing the lines about 1 inch apart. Using a toothpick, make swirling motions over the lines to yield the marbled effect.

A collage showing the assembly of the top chocolate layer of the Marbled Shortbread Cookies.

Allow the Chocolate to Cool and Set. Once completely cool, cut the cookies into 48 small squares. To store, keep them in a container with a tight lid at room temperature for up to 5 days. They get better as they age. I am telling you, my kids fought over the last piece!

Marbled Shortbread Cookies stacked on a platter.

Pointers and Tips

  • When making the caramel, it may look like the coffee granules will not dissolve at all. Don’t worry, the granules will dissolve eventually as the caramel starts to thicken. You will end up with a smooth, lump-free mixture.
  • Make sure to swirl the chocolate while they are still hot or warm, allowing them to stand for too long will make the swirling a little bit tricky.

More Cookies and Bars For You

Marbled shortbread cookies stacked on a platter.

Marbled Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 48
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Buttery cookie base, sweet coffee caramel, and luscious chocolate top layer, these Marbled Shortbread Cookies are a household favorite. Make them and you will know why!

Ingredients

For the Shortbread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • pinch of salt

For the Caramel Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 can condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup or corn syrup

For the Chocolate Layer

  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 oz white chocolate

Instructions

Make the Shortbread

  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Add the softened butter and using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  2. With your hands in the bowl, mix and knead the dough briefly until it gathers together in a single mass. Transfer the dough into a 9x13 baking pan. Use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom of the pan until it is fully covered in an even layer. Prick the surface of the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the shortbread for 25 minutes at 350 F, or until it is lightly browned. Let it cool completely.

Make the Caramel Layer

In a medium saucepan, place all the ingredients for the caramel. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter melts. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, and let it boil for 8 minutes or so until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Spread the caramel over the cooled shortbread. Let it cool.

Make the Chocolate Marbled Layer

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time, repeating for 2-3 times until the chocolate is soft and shiny. Stir and allow it to cool slightly. Spread the melted chocolate over the cooled caramel using an angled spatula.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate for 15-20 seconds at a time, repeating until the chocolate is soft and shiny. Stir and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a small Ziploc bag. Cut one corner of the bag to have a small opening. Pipe the white chocolate in horizontal lines over the semi-sweet chocolate, about 1 inch apart.
  3. Using a toothpick, make swirling motions over the chocolate to create the marbled effect. Allow the chocolate to cool and set. Cut the shortbread into 48 squares. Store leftover in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

On Melting the Chocolate

  • You can melt the chocolate on a double boiler on a stove, or through the microwave.
  • To use the microwave, note that the chocolate does not really melt right through a fluid state. Heat it up for 15-20 seconds at a time, then repeat until the surface of the chocolate is shiny. You may only have to do this 2-3 times, Stir the chocolate and it will melt to a fluid state.


Recipe from: Marbled Shortbread from "The Book of Cookies" by Pat Alburey.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

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