Salted Chocolate Shard Shortbread

March  9, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 24 cookies
Author Notes

These are adapted from Alison Roman’s Instagram-viral Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread from Dining In, nipped and tucked. I used unsalted butter instead of salted, because it’s what I always have around. I reduced the butter and sugar creaming time, to yield a more classic, crumbly shortbread texture. For the same reason, I swapped out some of the flour for cornstarch, and increased the bake time. And, most notably, I turned the chocolate chunks into chocolate shards by chopping them much more finely. This not only makes slicing the logs noticeably easier, but turns the shortbread delightfully marbly and streaky. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The Cookies Instagram Can't Quit —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 9 ounces (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Demerara, turbinado, raw, or sanding sugar, for rolling
  • Flaky salt, for sprinkling
  1. Chop the chocolate chips or chunks with a knife to yield fine shards—some of it will be chunky, some of it will be powdery.
  2. Combine the butter, sugars, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir on medium-low, just to combine, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down, add the vanilla, and stir again. Add the flour and cornstarch and stir, medium-low, scraping as needed, until a dough just starts to form. Stir in the chocolate shards until just combined.
  3. Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and divide in half. Form and roll each into a 6-inch long log and wrap in plastic film. Chill until firm—at least 1 1/2 hours, up to several days.
  4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush the logs with the egg, then roll in the raw sugar. Using a serrated knife and sawing motion, slice the logs into 1/2-inch-thick cookies. Place on a baking sheet, 1 to 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the sugary sides are deeply golden brown.
  5. Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack (they’re fragile when warm), then let cool completely before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Erin
  • Josh Simien
    Josh Simien
  • Hannah Hunt
    Hannah Hunt
  • Gloria Taylor
    Gloria Taylor
  • Pam Whitlock
    Pam Whitlock
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

16 Reviews

Erin June 23, 2019
I had the same issue with spreading as another reviewer mentioned. Lower marks from the fam.
Josh S. April 1, 2018
These did not at all turn out as described for me, the cookies just spread out and looked more like your typical flat chocolate chip cookie than resembling anything made of shortbread.
Julie March 23, 2018
For me, this modified recipe is perfection. Thank you!
Alex P. March 15, 2018
I understand critique but this article seems like an attack on a fellow cook. I'm a bit disappointed in
tiptoesinthekitchen March 15, 2018
Totally agree with you.
Julie March 23, 2018
Recipes are constantly be tweaked. Alison Roman did that very thing to create her version of the recipe because she felt that other chocolate chip cookie recipes weren't quite right, for her taste.
Hannah H. March 15, 2018
You mentioned in your article, "Shortbread recipes hinge on a certain butter-to-sugar ratio—usually 1 stick butter to 1 cup flour". What is the butter-to-sugar ratio it hinges on then? I think you totally missed the point that this is supposed to be a choc chip cookie/shortbread hybrid. As a somewhat amateur baker with a measly hand-mixer I was able to produce the best cookies I've ever made from Roman's recipe. I'm looking forward to making them again this weekend.
Emma L. March 15, 2018
Hi Hannah, thanks for the catch! That should read "butter-to-flour" and has been adjusted accordingly.
Bevi March 21, 2018
Hannah I agree. Alison's recipe is a great hybrid. It's a shame this article was written. And a shame Alison's cookbook did not make the Piglet cut.
witloof March 12, 2018
Thank you! I have been wanting to try these but had some reservations about the original recipe. This version looks much more promising. I'm thinking about swapping the cornstarch with rice flour and subbing in some mesquite flour for the AP.
Gloria T. March 12, 2018
Can u send this cookie recipe to my email. [email protected].
Pam W. March 12, 2018
Suggestion for cutting the logs- use an electric knife! (It's not just for Thanksgiving anymore.) It doesn't deform the shape as much.
palyn H. March 14, 2018
Brilliant idea!
Julie March 12, 2018
Thank you for this update. I made the orignal recipe several times and was not impressed. I found the cookies to be very dense. I will give the recipe one more try with your modifications.
Lindsey March 11, 2018
How much salt with the butter and sugar?
Becky S. March 11, 2018
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Use about half of that if using standard table salt.