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Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

Alison Roman's Chocolate Chip-Shortbread Cookies
Alison Roman's Chocolate Chip-Shortbread CookiesNathan Congleton / TODAY
24 cookies

Chef notes

I've always found chocolate chip cookies to be flawed. To me, they're always either too sweet, too soft or have too much chocolate; there's a lot of room for improvement. But rather than do a complete overhaul on the most iconic cookie ever, I took all my favorite parts and invented something else entirely.

Made with lots of salted butter, the dough has just enough flour to hold it together and just the right amount of light brown sugar. The chocolate is cut into chunks to prevent chip congregation, and once the dough is formed into a cylindrical log, the whole thing gets rolled in Demerara sugar for the crispiest-ever edges. Less chocolate chip cookie, more brown sugar shortbread with chocolate chunks — these just might be exactly the cookie you've been looking for.

Technique tip: The cookie dough can be made ahead and stored, tightly wrapped in plastic, up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or 1 month in the freezer. Cookies can be baked and stored in plastic wrap or an airtight container for 5 days.

Swap option: If you prefer to not use salted butter, you can use unsalted butter and add 3/4-teaspoon kosher salt to the flour.


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten Demerara sugar, for rolling
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen, for sprinkling



Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high until it's super light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend.


Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough to protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands, form the 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. You can also do this using parchment paper, if you prefer, but I find using plastic wrap easier when it comes to shaping the log). Each half should form two logs 2 to 2¼ inches in diameter. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.


Preheat the oven to 350°F.


Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the Demerara sugar.


Slice each log into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, place them on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart (they won't spread much) and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Lightly sprinkle with flaky sea salt and let cool slightly before eating.