Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread


Simple pleasure:

Opening the windows at night to let the chill in. Freshly laundered clothing on your freshly showered body.

Stopping for brownies on the way home from work. Not setting an alarm for your afternoon nap.

The way the sun shines through the blinds over cookie batter. Cozying on the couch to gossip with your best friend.

Slicing rounds of dough rolled in sugar before baking. Puppy dog kisses. Sitting on the floor watching Harry Potter instead of doing work.

Discovering the television can be turned so you can watch in bed. Little mosaics of chocolate shards and salted butter, melting into pools of perfect shortbread.

Drops of geranium oil over dried lavender sprigs. When you (absentmindedly) move your foot so it isn’t on top of his, and he (absentmindedly) moves his foot so it is touching yours again.

Selecting whichever cookie calls to you from the cooling rack. Bending it in half. Chocolate oozing. Sugared edges crunching before butteriness. Salivating at little sea salt flecks.

(Returning for another.)

One Year: Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies
Two Years: Fig and Cheddar Shortbread
Three Years: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Toasted Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Four Years: Black Bean Salsa
Five Years: Pappardelle with Brown Butter and Chives

Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread
From Alison Roman
Makes about 24 Cookies

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) cold salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 oz semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (but not too fine, you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Demerara sugar, for rolling
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, followed by chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend. 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 (just like you’re playing with clay), form 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. Each half should form logs that are 2–2¼” in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet (two, if you’ve got ’em) with parchment paper. Brush outside of logs with egg wash. Roll logs in demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges). Slice each log into ½”-thick rounds. 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 slightly before eating them all.

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