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.
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.
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.
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! :)
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave and then spread evenly on the shortbread. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
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!