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It’s time to forget everything you think you know about chocolate chip cookies. Why? Because the best chocolate chip cookie recipe out there might actually be a recipe for shortbread.
Home bakers are obsessed with this recipe for salted chocolate chunk shortbread cookies right now, and for good reason. These bad boys got a write-up in the New York Times cooking section, which is pretty impressive.
So what is so obsessively delicious and exciting about the recipe?
I had to bake them and find out firsthand! The recipe comes to us from Alison Roman, a former Bon Appetit editor and author of the new cookbook “Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes.” (Um, I need a copy of this, stat!)
I followed the recipe by starting out with some salted butter (alright, A LOT of salted butter — two-and-a-quarter sticks) and some brown and white sugar. I didn’t soften the butter beforehand, as it is meant to be cold when cut into one-inch chunks. I was scared at first while using my decrepit, cheap electric mixer because I thought the sugar-butter combo was never going to cream. Instead, sugar was just flying everywhere while the cold butter put up a serious fight. But after five-plus minutes of blending, I had a gorgeous creamy mixture.
Here’s where you’re meant to add vanilla — that is, if you didn’t spill an entire bottle of vanilla all over the counter because you were distracted while eating part of a chocolate baking bar. Hmph.
So, instead, I used half a teaspoon of almond extract and half a teaspoon of maple syrup. (Did you know you could also sub vanilla with liquor?)
Next, I added flour and six ounces of the aforementioned chocolate baking bar. I used part bittersweet and part semisweet.
Then I rolled the dough into logs and let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (it can keep up to five days, if you want to make this ahead of time).
Eventually I took out the logs of dough and brushed them with a light egg wash. Here is where you’re meant to roll the logs in demerera sugar, which is a partially refined light brown cane sugar. I was really excited to try this sugar, but my Whole Foods didn’t carry it.
Bummer! But turbinado sugar, which is a partially refined light brown cane sugar similar to demerara but with larger crystals, is a good substitute and I already had it in my pantry. So, after sprinkling turbindao sugar all over the logs, I then cut them into slices about one inch thick. I lay them a pan prepared with parchment paper, and sprinkled lightly with sea salt.
Yep, sea salt — the marriage of saltiness and sweetness is what this recipe is all about!
Finally, I baked them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mine took about 15 minutes before I was confident they were done and ready to eat.
And the result? So delicious! I loved the texture of these cookies (they are indeed more like shortbread than regular choc-chip cookies) and the salty flakes on top. Plus, they looked so pretty. They are like a “grown up” chocolate chip cookie that would be perfect for a book club or a hostess gift.
That is, if you can keep yourself from eating them all!
[H/t: Bon Appétit]