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Hand make 'The Cookies' for Mum this Mother's Day

2 May 2020 | Alison Roman

Mother's Day is upon us, and if you're one of those people that are guilty of being a last minute planner and/or gift buyer, we've got a chocolate chunk shortbread shaped idea for you. Nothing says 'I love you the most in this world' than homemade cookies and cakes, our mothers have done it time and again for us, and now is the time to repay the favour. Celebrate Mum this year with some handmade, hand-delivered Alison Roman cookies, and not just any Alison Roman cookie, but 'THE Cookies' as they have been so lovingly dubbed by the internet. 

Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, or Why Would I Make Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever Again? 

aliso roman chocolate chip shortbread cookies recipeI’ve always found chocolate chip cookies to be deeply flawed (to know this about me explains a lot). 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 favourite parts and invented something else entirely. 

Made with lots of salted butter, which has a slightly different flavour and a deeper saltiness than using just salt (I prefer unsalted butter everywhere else but here), the dough has just enough flour to hold it together and the right amount of soft brown sugar to suggest a chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate is cut into chunks to prevent chip congregation, and once the dough is formed into a cylindrical log, the whole thing gets rolled in demerara sugar for the crispiest-ever edges. Less chocolate chip cookie, more brown-sugar shortbread with chocolate chunks – they just might be the cookies you’ve been looking for.

Makes 24

250 g (9 oz) salted butter (see Note), cut into 1 cm (½ in) pieces
110 g (4 oz/½ cup) sugar
55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
335 g (12 oz/2¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
175 g (6 oz) semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
1 large egg, beaten
demerara or raw sugar, for rolling
flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
NOTE: If you find it tragically annoying to buy salted butter just for this recipe, you can use unsalted butter and add ¾ teaspoon kosher salt to the flour.

DO AHEAD: Dough can be made ahead and stored, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or 1 month in the freezer. Cookies can be baked and stored in plastic wrap or an airtight container for 5 days. 

Line a rimmed baking tray – two, if you’ve got ’em – with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium–high speed until super light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes. 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 beat just to blend.

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 stop your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form the dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. You can also do this using baking paper, if you prefer, but I find using plastic wrap easier when it comes to shaping the log. Each half should form two logs 5–6 cm (2–2¼ in) in diameter. Chill until totally firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges).

Slice each log into 1 cm (½ in) thick rounds, place them on the lined baking tray(s) about 2.5 cm (1 in) apart, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.

dining in 3D cover
This recipe is extracted from Dining In by Alison Roman
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