Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies took the internet by storm with their delicious sugar crust and crisp texture laced with chocolate and sprinkled with flaky sea salt!
Also known as “The Cookie(s)”, these slice and bake Shortbread Cookies are made with just seven ingredients, are egg and nut-free, and are a nice break from traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies.
When these Alison Roman cookies nearly broke Instagram a couple of years ago and of course, I had to see what the fuss was all about!
The original recipe can be found in her cookbook, Dining In. But after making and trying, I made some changes to her recipe that I think make it even easier – and dare I say better?
How To Make Them
Step 1: Begin by creaming together the butter, sugar, and vanilla paste in an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 2: Then, with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour and mix just until blended. The dough will look a bit lumpy, this is normal. See the photo for reference.
Step 3: Fold in the chopped dark chocolate just until combined.
Step 4: Divide the dough in half on two large pieces of parchment paper.
The dough may look crumbly at first but should easily come together when pressed with your hands.
Step 5: Use your hands to form the dough into a log. You can use the parchment to help you roll and round out the log.
Step 6: Sprinkle about ¼ cup of coarse sparkling sugar on each of the parchment papers and roll the logs in it.
Step 7: Roll the cookie dough logs up in the parchment paper and chill until totally firm, about 2 hours. You want to chill the dough to reduce spreading while baking.
Step 8: After the dough has chilled, unroll and slice each log into 12 even slices. Use a very sharp or a serrated knife to slice. The slices might break apart slightly, gently use your hands to press them back together. They will still bake up beautifully.
Step 9: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart (these cookies don’t really spread) and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Step 10: Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the chocolate in the center is shiny.
As I mentioned above, my version of the Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies has a few changes to the original recipe.
What’s Different About My Version:
All Brown Sugar – I’m a huge fan of brown sugar and since this is a chocolate chip cookie recipe, I thought it was worth going all-in on the brown sugar and omitting the granulated sugar. I love the deep flavor it adds to these cookies. And the hint of molasses pairs perfectly with the salt and chocolate.
Less Flour – One of the biggest complaints about these cookies in reviews across the internet was that the cookie dough was too crumbly to work with even after excessive mixing. I found this to be the case as well when I first tried them. So this recipe has slightly less flour in it.
Vanilla Paste Instead of Vanilla Extract – You don’t have to make this change, but I really love the extra vanilla flavor this adds to the cookies. Vanilla Bean Paste is one of my favorite baking items!
No Egg – If you roll the logs of dough in sugar before chilling, you can completely eliminate the egg wash. Plus, I think the sugar sticks better this way. You do lose some of that extra crispiness on the edge of the cookie, but it’s still there.
These Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies are unlike any shortbread cookie you’ve had before and I promise they’re worth the wait and the extra bit of work!
How Long Do They Last?
The honest answer is hours… because as soon as you eat one, you won’t be able to stop. Plus, this makes a small batch, just two dozen cookies total. Most of the cookie recipes on my site make at least three dozen.
- Baked Cookies: The cookies are good for about 5 days when stored in an airtight container.
- Unbaked Dough: The cookie dough can be prepared up to 1 week in advance. Store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container in the refrigerator. I just put my parchment-wrapped logs in a large Ziploc bag.
- Frozen Dough: To freeze, wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place parchment-wrapped logs in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. Allow the dough to thaw in the fridge before slicing and baking.
- Frozen Cookies: To freeze, allow cookies to cool completely after baking. Then transfer to a freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air before freezing for up to 3 months.
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Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla paste on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour and mix just until blended.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate just until combined.
- Divide the dough in half on two large pieces of parchment paper. The dough may look crumbly at first but should easily come together when pressed with your hands.
- Use your hands to shape each half of the dough into a log. Use the parchment to help you roll and round out the log.
- Sprinkle about ¼ cup of coarse sugar on each of the parchment papers and roll the logs in it.
- Roll the cookie dough logs up in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- After the dough has chilled, unroll and slice each log into 12 even slices.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart (these cookies don't really spread) and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the chocolate in the center is shiny.
- If you prefer to use unsalted butter, add 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt to the flour. Although, I highly recommend using salted, it gives these cookies a much better flavor.
- An equal amount of vanilla extract may be used if you don’t have vanilla paste on hand. Although I highly recommend investing in some!
- I like to use coarse white sugar, but you can also use Demerara sugar (Sugar In The Raw).
- Adapted from Alison Roman, Dining In.
- Baked cookies are good for about 5 days (they WILL NOT last that long though ;).
- The cookie dough can be prepared up to 1 week in advance when storeed in plastic wrap or an airtight container. I just put my parchment wrapped logs in a large ziploc bag.
- To freeze, wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place parchment wrapped logs in a freezer bag for up to 1 month.