Dark Chocolate Shortbread with Toasted Almonds and Smoked Sea Salt

I have to admit, although I am a vegetarian I love the smell of bacon.  I was discussing it with a coworker recently who also doesn't eat it and we agreed that the aroma it gives off when cooking is wonderful, probably more enjoyable and satisfying than if actually eaten.  I don't know of many people who don't agree.  It doesn't make me want to actually eat it however, because I realize that the things about bacon that appeal to me is the saltiness and the smokiness.  So when I came across some smoked sea salt at a store last weekend I couldn't pass it up! I figured it could be added to savory dishes, but I most wanted to pair it with chocolate!  I thought it would be wonderful with dark chocolate and toasted almonds in a shortbread cookie.   I am on a cookie kick as of lately with the Christmas baking. I don't know if these qualify as "Christmasy" but I decided they needed to be made now because I couldn't wait. 
I knew they would be amazing when I tested some of the dough (ok a lot of the dough).  They had a rich deep flavor with a hint of smokiness.  The finished product however was even better, almost like a cross between a brownie and shortbread. The cookie itself was melt in your mouth, intensely chocolaty due to the chocolate dough as well as the chopped dark chocolate I had added.  They had a hint of smoke which paired beautifully with the richness and nutty crunchy almonds which contributed wonderful texture. I enjoyed some with red wine and it was a beautiful combination.  In fact, it would be perfect to give as a gift with a bottle of wine, I know I would love to receive it!  Here is the recipe if you would like to enjoy some for yourself! 

Dark Chocolate Shortbread with Toasted Almonds and Smoked Sea Salt
Makes 12 shortbread cookies


  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp regular fleur de sel
  • 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 6 oz good quality vegan chocolate, chopped, or chips
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted coarsely chopped almonds
  • 2 oz good quality vegan dark chocolate
  • additional smoked sea salt



  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, maple sugar, vanilla, and salts until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients until well combined, and then the almonds and chocolate until well incorporated.
  5. Turn out into a 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom, and press firmly into the bottom to the sides, and flat.  Score the dough into 12 triangles, sprinkle with turbinado sugar (press in) and a little fleur de sel.
  6. Place in the oven, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until set.
  7. When done baking, score again, and cool on a wire rack completely before un-molding.


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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

  1. December 24, 2011 at 06:22

    Your chocolate shortbreads look amazing! I can easily have a couple of slices of these yummers. Okay, make that three! :)<br /><br />~ ray ~

  2. December 24, 2011 at 15:32

    These sound delicious and for a bacon lover like myself they would be perfect with the addition of it :)

  3. December 24, 2011 at 15:51

    Oh my gosh these are just stunning! I was just clicking over to visit you after your visit to my blog this morning and I am so glad I did! Thank you for your kind comment and a very happy holiday to you :)

  4. December 25, 2011 at 03:43

    Oh my yum! Shortbread is one of my absolute favorites but dark chocolate shortbread sounds even more amazing! :)

  5. December 27, 2011 at 22:04

    That looks phenomenal--I don't eat bacon, either, but I know what you mean about that smoky quality. Dark chocolate and sea salt is a wonderful combo!

  6. December 28, 2011 at 16:49

    these look BEAUTIFUL, amy! i havent had shortbread in over ten years, and this makes me miss it!

  7. December 29, 2011 at 12:01

    Oh man - I love shortbread, but chocolate shortbread is bliss. And the toasted almonds sound perfect with it.

  8. December 29, 2011 at 20:03

    YUM! And thank goodness you didn't put too much salt like when I tried to make salted chocolate shortbread. LOL

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