An update on the classic shortbread cookie to include hazelnut flour, large chunks of chocolate, and plenty of salt to balance out the sweetness.
If you’re a user of social media or look at food and cooking websites with any sort of regularity, then there’s no doubt that you’ve encountered “The Cookies,” a.k.a. Alison Roman’s salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread cookies from her book Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes. One of the key features with these sweet treats is that they call for salted butter, whereas 99.9% of all other recipes always specify unsalted.
Well one day a couple of weeks ago I decided it was my turn to finally give them a try, albeit with a few modifications, of course. The first being the addition of hazelnut flour to add a nice nuttiness to all of the other flavors going on in this cookie. I also use less butter than the original recipe. This is because I went for the good dairy, which comes in eight-ounce packages, so I cut down on the original 10 ounces instead of asking you to buy extra. (Cutting down on the amount of butter was also necessary because of what I did with the flours, so it was a win-win in my recipe book.)
Lastly, because I’m lazy, I skipped the final step of rolling the chilled dough in an egg wash and then coarse sugar before baking. Certainly don’t let me stop you if that’s the route you want to take, but I wanted to simplify things just a little bit to get you to cookie nirvana faster.
Just don’t forget to check your flakey salt supply (I was almost out), and make sure you have a glass of milk at the ready for maximum cookie enjoyment.
Salted Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk ShortbreadAaron Hutcherson
- 8 ounces salted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup hazelnut flour
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped not too finely (I used Guittard)
- flakey sea salt for sprinkling
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars, and vanilla on medium-high until 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 both flours, followed by the chocolate chunks, and mix just to blend. If necessary, knead the dough with your hands to make sure the flour is totally incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Form each into a log shape, rolling it on the counter to help you smooth it out. Each half should form a 6-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 350?F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds. 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. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake until the bottoms are golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.
I am a classically trained chef, writer, and lover of all things food. My passion for food is even greater than my love of sleep (which is saying a lot). Hopefully my recipes will inspire you to go out and cook something of your own.