Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

When it comes to food trends, fads and things that are "breaking the Internet", I tend to raise my eyebrows and, keep an eye out but not participate until I'm really ready to.

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Often times, this is after the hype is over. I didn't try kale until years after it started being a big thing. 

In general, I am not a quick decision maker. I mull, I overthink and convince myself in the opposite direction in as many ways as I can before coming to a final, final, final decision. It took me a while to decide to try these cookies and even longer to write about them.

This is one of those posts where I took the photos ages ago (in February!) and then they sat on my computer until the right moment. The right moment has presented itself because I don't have anything current to post (I’m working on a cake decorating tutorial that is coming soon) and these cookies are still just as good as they were in February.

If you haven’t heard of Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, then you are in for a treat! It takes the best parts of chocolate chip cookies and shortbread and puts them together into one. These are also known as “the cookies that broke the Internet” because back at the beginning of the year they were wildly popular and everyone was making them.

Well here I am months later, talking about them because I would love to have some now. They are quite straightforward to make and are an easy pick-me-up when you need one.

Some tips:

  • The egg does not go into the batter but rather it is used for helping the Demerara sugar to stick to the dough.

  • Don’t skip out on rolling the dough log in Demerara sugar, even if it is a bit pricey. Although this is the most tedious part of the recipe, it is also the most crucial part of the cookies for the crispy, sugar crust.

  • And most importantly, don’t buy flakey sea salt and then forget to add it like I did in the above photos. It helps enhance the flavor of the whole cookie.

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And if I am the last person to blog about these, so be it. I’d still happily make them again tomorrow.


Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

Yields: about 24 cookies

Recipe from Bon Appetit

Notes

Cookie dough can be made 1 week ahead. Tightly wrap in plastic and chill, or freeze up to 1 month. Cookies can be baked 5 days ahead. Store in plastic wrap or an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) cold salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (but not too fine, you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)

  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

  • Demerara sugar (for rolling)

  • Flaky sea salt

Steps

Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes.

Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, followed by chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend.

Divide dough in half, then place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. Each half should form logs that are 2–2¼" in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet (two, if you’ve got 'em) with parchment paper. Brush outside of logs with egg wash. Roll logs in demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges).

Slice each log into ½"-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart (they won’t spread much). Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.