Shortbread is filled with chocolate chips, rolled in Demerara Sugar and finished with Maldon Sea Salt, making these Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies one of my favorites!
Have you missed me…much? I’ve been gone, not having posted since December 31st of last year. No particular reason either, no excuses. I think I just needed a break, plain and simple so I took one. I did make these Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies though; luckily they are not holiday specific huh?
Have I been adventurous in getting other things done…I don’t know, my Christmas stuff is still piled on my dining table! Today, I promise, it gets put away today!
But back to these amazing cookies; they are not just for a holiday…man I would love a couple every doggone day!
Since I made so many, I left an open container on a table in my foyer; my neighbor Amy asked me if it would be asking too much if I would please always have some there…I would for her but then I would be eating them too so probably not a great idea. 🙂
Like many of you, I have my favorites for the holidays (and often wonder why I ONLY make Pecan Butter Balls then!) but I also love to add something new to the rotation. A friend posted a link to this recipe on the New York Times Cooking site and the name alone sold me. The results won me over doubly so; there are seriously so good.
These wildly popular cookies were developed by Alison Roman for her cookbook, “Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes.” Noting that she had always found chocolate chips cookies to be deeply flawed, she went on her own road to discovery and concocted something uniquely different.
Using salted butter with flour and brown sugar, it mimicked a chocolate chip cookie many others make but it was formed in the tradition of a shortbread; high on butter and less flour.
I can’t fault her there; I love all things shortbread too. She also recommends using a great chocolate and chopping it yourself…and this is where our paths went in different directions. Now to be honest, I tried it my first go around; but for reasons I’ll share it’s not what I loved the most.
First…chopping hard chocolate bars is time consuming. OK, OK, but sometimes worth it so I did it. But it also means a lot of shattered, almost ground chocolate once you complete much of any quantity. And what I discovered was this…not wanting to waste any, I scooped all of the chopped chocolate onto my dough scraper and dumped it into the shortbread mix. Uh oh…
Once I mixed it up I realize that was a big mistake. Sure I had nice chocolate shards but my dough was now chocolate brown too. Not a problem when it was time to taste them but not something I thought was a good visual representation of a cookie that was not supposed to be chocolate.
Not a big deal, it was the holidays and I needed more. As a matter of fact, I purchased some gift baskets from The Denver Bee Company that included some of their honey, a beeswax candle, some honey sticks, and a honey dipper and I planned to include a half dozen of these cookies, toffee, and a mini loaf of my favorite fruitcake, so making more was on the agenda.
I planned to double the recipe and that coupled with the ground chocolate issue I reached for a bag of chocolate chips…and I doubt I’ll ever look back. Good chocolate chips mind you…back away from the Nestle! I typically use Girardelli Chocolate Chips and they were great in these cookies.
Now the shortbread and the good chocolate were important but so are two other details. After the cookie dough is completed and rolled into shape, you brush it with egg and roll it in Demerara Sugar.
I love this stuff; as a matter of fact for my ONE solitary cup of coffee in the morning I add half and half and some demerara sugar; it’s a heavenly cup. Nice sized crystals of a sugar that is sort of in between granulated and brown sugar…I use it for finishing a lot of desserts or even to rim a cocktail glass and this was perfect.
The final step is a most important one, the salt. Never, ever and I mean NEVER use table salt to add a ‘salted’ taste to your finished baked goods. I know this sounds crazy but it’s simply too salty. I love Maldon Salt, it comes in flakes, has a nice subtle salt flavor and can accentuate your baked goods and sauces like Salted Caramel without overdoing the saltiness.
They’re pretty too…no denying that touch of salt on these cookies! Maybe I made them for the holidays but with Valentine’s Day soon upon us…these would work well too; absolutely superb with a nice glass of wine.
PIN IT! ‘Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies’
Salted Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/255 grams total salted butter 2¼ sticks, cold (room temperature if you're using a handheld mixer), cut into ½-inch pieces (see note)
- ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
- ¼ cup/55 grams light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups/325 grams all-purpose flour see Tip
- 6 ounces/170 grams semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate chips
- 1 large egg beaten
- Demerara sugar for rolling
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (I use Maldon)
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high till it’s super light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes for a stand mixer; 6 to 8 for a hand mixer).
- Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the chocolate chips, and mix just to blend. If necessary, knead the dough with your hands to make sure the flour is totally incorporated. At this point, the dough should be smooth and feel like Play-Doh with no pockets of flour.
- Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough to protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands, form the 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. (Don't be afraid to make them compact.)
- Each half should form a 6-inch log, 2 to 2¼ inches in diameter. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious, crisp edges).
- Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds (if you hit a chocolate chip, slowly saw back and forth through the chocolate). If the cookies break or fall apart, just press them back together — the dough is very forgiving.
- Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart (they won’t spread much). Sprinkle sparingly with flaky salt. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.