Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies
When someone says "this is the best cookie I have ever had" I waste about 0.001 seconds tracking down the recipe and trying to recreate it at home.
That is exactly the story behind these chocolate chunk shortbread cookies. While in Charlotte a couple weeks ago, I saw on some news program that this cookie is considered by some to be the very best cookie. Ever. There is really only one thing to do after hearing something like that. Try it for myself!
How to Make Them
These cookies are a cross between a shortbread cookie and a chocolate chip cookie. Duh. There are buttery, crumbly, packed with chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. Oh yeah...they sound good already don't they.
Like any good cookie, these start with butter and sugar. However, I did take some creative liberties with this recipe and added in some molasses for a little extra flavor and to make these cookies a bit more tender (shortbread can sometimes become a little tough and cracker-like).
One of the main differences with this chocolate chunk shortbread cookie is that it is made with salted butter. If you bake often, you know you rarely use salted butter when baking. But the creator of this recipe claims that the salted butter adds some additional richness to the dough. Who am I to argue?
Now, what really makes this cookie extra delicious is the chocolate pieces. Not just chocolate chips, but chopped chocolate. This means that there are big globs of melted chocolate in these cookies as well as chocolate marbled throughout.
It is super important that you use a good quality chocolate that YOU LIKE. The chocolate is the star in these cookies, so if you don't like the chocolate on its own, you won't like it in the cookie.
Here is where these chocolate chip shortbread cookies start to differ from your average chocolate chip cookie. Instead of dropping the dough onto a baking sheet, you roll it into a log, wrap it in plastic wrap, and then let it chill for an hour or so until stiff enough to cut into slices.
Except before you slice the log, you will want to roll it in some sugar. Oh yeah, these cookies are just packed with every trick in the book. Give the cookie dough log a generous brushing with an egg wash then roll it around in some coarse sugar, like turbinado sugar.
Now cut it into slices!
You will want your slices to be pretty thick, approximately 1/2 inch. They don't spread too much in the oven, so just cut them to how thick you want them to be after they bake.
Don't forget to sprinkle them with some sea salt!
After they bake, they will be super crispy on the outside thanks to that sugar crust you put on earlier. And the chocolate will have melted and formed pockets of delicious, creamy, chocolate. This is why it's so important that you use a chocolate you really like because there is just so much of it in the cookies!
I know what you are thinking now, "are these really the best cookies ever?". Well, you will have to decide for yourself. I thought they were pretty darn good! They are much crunchier and crumblier than your standard chocolate chip cookie thanks to all that butter. They are also much richer in flavor. That is probably due to a combination of the salted butter and molasses.
I guess what I am trying to say is, don't expect these to be like your favorite chocolate chip cookie, because they aren't. They are really in a league of their own. Neither shortbread, nor chocolate chip, but combining the best of both worlds!
Prep Time:20 Min Cook Time:15 Min Total Time:35 Min
1 cup, 2 sticks, salted butter at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
Aprox. 1 cup bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup coarse sugar, such as turbinado
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugars, molasses, and vanilla until light and fluffy. About 1 minute.
Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until just barely incorporated. The dough should be soft, but shouldn't be overly sticky.
Fold in the chocolate chunks so they are evenly dispersed.
Spread dough out onto a long sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a log, then wrap the plastic wrap around the log and roll it until all sides are smooth. Secure the ends and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for 1 hour, or until stiff enough to cut into slices.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and brush the egg across the entire surface of the dough log. Immediately roll in the coarse sugar until completely covered.
Using a large sharp knife, cut log into 1/2 inch discs. Place on a baking sheet about 1/2 inch to 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops with flaky sea salt.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Let cool on the tray for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack.