Friday, March 16, 2018

Instant Classic - Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

Alison Roman's recipe for Shortbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies went indisputably viral after a feature in the New York Times excerpted her controversial musings on America's favorite cookie:

“I’ve always found chocolate chip cookies to be deeply flawed (to know this about me explains a lot),” she writes. “Too sweet, too soft, or with too much chocolate, there’s a lot of room for improvement, if you ask me. But no one asked me, and rather than do a complete overhaul on the most iconic cookie known to man, I took all my favorite parts and invented something else entirely." 

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies, Photo: NK

Featured in her absolutely indispensable cookbook, "Dining In," this recipe has everything I look for in a go-to dessert. This is probably why myself and practically every food blogger in the country tried them all at once. These cookies are really easy to make and almost impossible to mess up. They include very few ingredients, none of which are exotic. Since attempting them for the first time two months ago, I've made them four times since! I love that there is no tricky rolling or cutting of notoriously fickle shortbread dough. The other thing I love about shortbread? No egg. I am somehow always out of egg when I get the urge to bake.  

Roman's original recipe is proportioned to yield a generous quantity of rich, crumbly and buttery cookies, and the dough rolls store well in the freezer or fridge until you are ready to bake -- this means fresh cookies any time. I don't recommend halving the recipe, but you may want to make them in two rounds, even a day or so apart. Freshly sliced and baked. What could be better? Because really, they are delicious, oh, are they delicious. 

These cookies are also elegant. I was trying to explain this to my husband today, badly perhaps, as he remained unconvinced; there's something about them that is more adult than your average chocolate chip - probably the shortbread component that sets them apart. I feel as if they could stand up to a wine pairing, or look elegant served alongside fancy hors d'oeuvres. Their sparkly, sugared edges lend a sophistication to these chocolate chips that transcends the ubiquity of their genre.

One tip - once I slice and salt these, I try and put them back into the fridge for ten or so minutes to re-chill. The one time I did not they came out flatter (but still delicious). 

So there you have it, Alison Roman's masterpiece. I changed nothing in the recipe except I did use large granule sugar in the raw rather than Demerara, because it's what I had on hand. Enjoy and my hat's off to the creator of this positively essential recipe, one I know will be in my rotation for life - follow the link HERE or HERE to view it.