Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are made with high quality ingredients to create a delicious shortbread cookie that’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and flaky sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are made with high quality ingredients to create a delicious shortbread cookie that’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and flaky sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!Fah la laaaa…it’s really is starting to feel like Christmas, isn’t it? Christmas tree farms have officially replaced all of the pumpkin patches, candy canes and peppermint bark are on the shelves of all the grocery stores, and Christmas music is blasting on all of the radio stations. It seriously feels like this year has breezed on past, but I’m ignoring that and focusing on my favorite part of the holidays: the baking part (of course).

Christmas cookie making is absolutely one of my favorite parts of winter and if you think I bake a lot the rest of the year…the cookies seriously  start to get churned out of the kitchen in December. Today my roommate Ally and I went on a big grocery shopping trip and I got a whole bunch of baking ingredients. I mean seriously a lot, as in: I got EIGHT POUNDS OF BUTTER. 

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are made with high quality ingredients to create a delicious shortbread cookie that’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and flaky sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!Eight. Pounds. Most people probably use less than that in year, and I’m embarrassed to say that I hope it lasts me through the new month or two. What can I say…holiday baking requires a heck of a lot of butter.

In this recipe for Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt? The butter really, really shines. I’m sort of obsessed with this recipe, and I’ve been making it for a while. These cookies got put into all my Christmas cookie tins last year and the cookies had a gorgeous appearance on my Instagram. <– if you click to see that photo, yes, I totally intentionally photographed the cookies like that again cause I <3’ed the way it looked.

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are made with high quality ingredients to create a delicious shortbread cookie that’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and flaky sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!It’s about time I shared this recipe with you guys. The butter is important. I used Challenge butter because as I said…the butter is important and one of the stars of the show, so it’s definitely preferable to use high quality. The butter gets warmed on the stove until bubbling and toasty brown, but not burned. Dark brown sugar, vanilla, sea salt, and flour are stirred in and the simple dough is pressed into the pan, and then left to stand at room temperature for a few hours.

Letting the dough stand helps the dough cool down to room temperature and lets the flavors meld together. The process of cooling slowly creates an irresistible sandy texture with a bold brown butter flavor and light caramelization from the dark brown sugar.

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are made with high quality ingredients to create a delicious shortbread cookie that’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and flaky sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!The shortbread is baked low and slow for 45 minutes and then slathered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with a bit of fancy sea salt – I like using Maldon’s Fleur de Sel. The result is an irresistible cookie with a warm caramelized flavor, crisp and sandy shortbread texture, and smooth chocolate topping with just the perfect hint of sea salt.

I made these are part of Challenge Dairy’s 12 Days of Cookies, and I think these brown butter shortbread are a contribution that you’ll definitely want to put on your wish list and/or your gift list. If you’re giving them away though, be sure to snag a few for yourself. Enjoy! :)

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are made with high quality ingredients to create a delicious shortbread cookie that’s the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and flaky sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!

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Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter (I used Challenge butter)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
Directions
  1. Lightly grease a 9½" round fluted tart pan or a 14"x5" rectangle tart with a removable bottom. If you don’t have a pan with a removable bottom you could line a 8" or 9" square cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang of foil on two opposite sides so you can easily lift the shortbread out of the pan.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium melt the butter and continue to cook until it caramelizes and emits a nutty, butterscotch aroma. You will notice brown flecks in the bottom of the pan as the butter deepens in color. Be careful not to burn the butter. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Do not refrigerate.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave and then spread evenly on the shortbread. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

These Brown Butter Shortbread with Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt are full of simple, good quality ingredients for a sandy shortbread cookie that's the perfect addition to any holiday party. Dark chocolate and a sprinkle of good sea salt make this shortbread even more irresistible!

This post is sponsored by Challenge Dairy as a part of their 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. As always, all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Bakerita!

Comments

  1. Yummy! This looks really good. So excited for christmas! :)
    Mary Frances recently posted…CommentsMy Profile

  2. What a beautiful looking cookie! I love the dark chocolate and salt combo! I’m with you on the whole lotta butter! Gotta have it this time of year!
    Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop recently posted…No Knead Artisan BreadMy Profile

  3. Rachel, this looks INCREDIBLE and so sinful – not to mention, insanely beautiful! I’m definitely on board the browned butter train, so I must try this!
    Roxana recently posted…Loaded chocolate chip cookies recipeMy Profile

  4. This shortbread looks unreal! Pinning :)
    Medha (Whisk and Shout) recently posted…Weekly Obsessions: Holiday EditionMy Profile

  5. As usual, too delicious to put into words! Could anyone tell me if this is similar to a recipe I came across called “Chocolate-dipped Buttercrunch?” (http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/12/02/diy-holiday-food-gifts)
    Are these all various forms of toffee? I love toffee, and I apologize if these are such basic/novice questions.

  6. I go through so much butter and sugar during the holidays — I truly bake more cookies in December than I do any other time. This shortbread looks so addicting! I love the salted chocolate.
    marcie recently posted…Cheesy Rosemary Twice Baked Mashed PotatoesMy Profile

  7. Gah, Rachel! This is so beautiful! And sounds so good, brown butter, shortbread, chocolate, sea salt – I drooled a little. Also, I had to laugh at the eight pounds of butter – I don’t bake as much as you but I just bought 4 pounds and my husband def gave me a raised eyebrow. Such is life during the holidays! :)
    Meghan | Fox and Briar recently posted…Gingerbread Martini (plus I made you a playlist!)My Profile

  8. You had me at brown butter. Love this shortbread!
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough recently posted…boozy chocolate horchata {giveaway}My Profile

  9. ahh!! I’m not usually a big fan of shortbread but with brown butter…and dark chocolate…and sea salt…ohhhh yes then I am in looove
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted…Our {Town}House Tour!My Profile

  10. Shortbread is my all time favorite cookie anytime of year. But when the holiday season comes, like you, butter is bought by the truck load! No doubt high quality ingredients make a difference in the taste of these treats. Absolutely love the flavor combination here, Rachel!! And the presentation is gorgeous! These would make just perfect cookies for a gift! Thank you my dear!
    traci | vanilla and bean recently posted…Mushroom Stuffed Cabbage RollsMy Profile

  11. WOW. The title of this recipe is essentially my three favorite things in the culinary world (except peanut butter…where’s the peanut butter?!). My wife and I are obsessed with browned butter, and the combination of sea salt and dark chocolate is among mankind’s most important discoveries, right up there with fire and the espresso. Definitely going to have to try this…
    Joshua Rief recently posted…Eggnog ThumbprintsMy Profile

  12. Oh my! These shortbread bars look incredible.
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry recently posted…Wild Rice Pilaf with Apples and Toasted NutsMy Profile

  13. Is it funny that I just thought “Hmm, I wish I had eight pounds of butter”? Haha. Looks like I need to make shortbread again! Chocolate and sea salt on shortbread sounds fabulous!
    Amanda recently posted…Brown Butter Toffee Shortbread CookiesMy Profile

  14. Don’t worry, it isn’t just you – we found some cheap butter at the supermarket just over a week ago and came away with about 4kg of it…and it is scary to say it seems like it is almost half gone!! I did have a few big cakes and butter creams to make, but still! That aside, the shortbread looks incredible – I am in love with the dark chocolate – sea salt combo at the moment (especially coupled with espresso!), and it looks SO perfect for xmas time <3
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen recently posted…Spring Salmon, Asparagus and Risoni SaladMy Profile

  15. I adore shortbread! But shortbread covered in chocolate and sea salt? I am SO THERE! Pinned!
    Jessica @ Sweetest Menu recently posted…Chocolate Cherry Brownie Mousse PieMy Profile

  16. Um whaaaatttt brown butter shortbread?? I am all over this. Can’t wait to try it!! Pinned :).
    Annie @ The Garlic Diaries recently posted…One Pot Mexican Pasta SkilletMy Profile

  17. I love these!!! I too use challenge butter and I go through about 4 pounds a month!
    Malinda @ Countryside Cravings recently posted…25 of the Best Christmas CookiesMy Profile

  18. This is gorgeous! I love the big salt chunks on top, yum!! It is finally starting to feel like Christmas here too except for the 70 degree temps, haha!
    Izzy @ She Likes Food recently posted…Curried Chickpea Salad SandwichesMy Profile

  19. Eight pounds of butter?! You definitely beat me in that department! :) This shortbread looks amazing, Rachel! Love the combination of browned butter and chocolate!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…30 Minute Thursday: One Pan Chicken Fettuccine AlfredoMy Profile

  20. Oh my! Brown butter shortbread and dark chocolate? Yes, please!
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…The Sweetest Season Sweetest Cookie GiveawayMy Profile

  21. Oh my gosh, Rachel! This shortbread is absolutely gorgeous. I’m a total dark chocolate fan, so naturally, this is right up my alley! Such gorgeous photos too, girl!
    Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven recently posted…Maple Spice Candied Pecans and AlmondsMy Profile

  22. I actually made these last night for my work. Huge success and very tasty. Everyone was asking for the recipe. Thanks for sharing your creations with the world! :)

  23. These sound wonderful! I may make them for a cookie exchange but I have to know how you cut them so that they look so perfect? The presentation is beautiful! Thanks.
    Ellen

    • Thanks so much, Ellen! I used a very sharp and thin knife, which is necessary so the thin corners don’t break off, and wiped the knife clean between cuts. I pressed the knife down where I wanted to cut and rocked the knife through gently but firmly. Hope this helps! Enjoy :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] I took a bit of inspiration from Brett’s present and went the shortbread route. These Brown Butter Shortbread are one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes, and I’ve been wanting to make a gluten-free […]

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