This recipe for Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies is originally from Alison Roman's book Dining In. Bon Appetit and The New York Times both published a version of the recipe, and it was also famous on Instagram for a while. At first I was a little skeptical since they seemed to be shortbread cookies and people called them chocolate chip. But since then I've learned to just accept the cookies for what they are -- buttery, not overly sweet and a good showcase for chocolate and grass-fed butter.
Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookie Notes
So far I've made the cookies
twice one hundred million times.
For the first round, I used a combination of unsalted butter and salt. The cookies were fantastic. I believe the original version calls for salted butter, so you can use that if you prefer. But if you use unsalted butter be sure to add an extra ½ teaspoon salt.
European Style Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread
For the second round, I used European style butter (Plugra). The cookies spread more, so as soon as I pulled them from the oven I pushed the edges inward to nudge them back into rounds. I was worried they'd be too fatty tasting given the spread, but once they cooled and set they did not seem overly greasy.
Kirkland New Zealand Grass-Fed Butter
Since posting this, I've also made these with Kirkland New Zealand Grass-Fed Butter from Costco.
With the New Zealand grass fed butter, I made the cookies square shaped and they held that shape pretty well, though I did have to square off the sides a little bit after pulling them from the oven. The grass fed butter gave them a bit of a yellow hue. Also, I used Ghirardelli's bittersweet chips rather than chunks.
Maida Heatter's Extra Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk
Update: If you like Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies, check out the recipe for Maida Heatter's Extra Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Monster Cookies. Maida's is very similar, but half. It doesn't involve slicing off a roll and calls for all granulated sugar instead of the granulated and brown combo. Maida also uses walnuts and a bit of almond extract. In my opinion Alison's cookies taste better, but it's easier to use Maida's method of just shaping the cookies into rounds and baking.
Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies
- 9 ounces salted butter cut into ½ inch pieces (I used unsalted and ½ teaspoon kosher salt) (196 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar (50 grams) (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour (290 grams)
- 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
- Sparkling sugar or Demerara Sugar
- Flaky sea salt
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes until batter is very light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
- Using a heavy duty scraper, scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour (or do it by hand), then add chocolate chunks and stir until blended.,
- 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, form dough into two log shapes that are just about 2¼" in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush outside of logs with egg wash. Roll logs in coarse sugar.
- Slice each log into ½"-thick rounds. If dough falls apart when you cut it, just squish it back together in a circle.
- 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.