SALTED CHOCOLATE CHUNK SHORTBREAD COOKIES
by Nicole Lukas (c/o 2018)
You will need:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/255 grams total salted butter (21⁄4 sticks), cold (room temperature if you're using a handheld mixer), cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1⁄2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup/55 grams light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1⁄2 cups/325 grams all-purpose flour
6 ounces/170 grams semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (not too fine; you want chunks, not little shards)
1 large egg, beaten
Demerara sugar, for rolling
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high till it’s super light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes for a stand mixer; 6 to 8 for a hand mixer). 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 mix just to blend. If necessary, knead the dough with your hands to make sure the flour is totally incorporated. At this point, the dough should be smooth and feel like Play-Doh with no pockets of flour.
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 iton the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. (Don't be afraid to make them compact. Shortbread is supposed to be dense. That's part of why it's so good.) You can also do this using parchment paper, if you prefer, but plastic wrap is easier when it comes to shaping the log. Each half should form a 6-inch log, 2 to 2 1⁄4 inches in diameter.
Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.