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5 from 10 votes

Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Classic delicious buttery shortbread cookies filled with chunks of rich semi-sweet chocolate, plenty of vanilla and a crisp coating of coarse sugar around the edges
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Cookie
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Tricia


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not over measure!)
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for coating the dough log)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or other coarse sugar for rolling
  • Fine flake sea salt for garnish, optional


  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the soft butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Blend on medium until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and blend again.
  • Add the flour in four additions and mix on low speed until incorporated. The dough will seem a little dry, but keep mixing as it comes together.
  • Add the chopped chocolate to the cookie dough and mix together using a wooden spoon, or you can fold it in using your hands.
  • Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper. Form the dough into a log 12-inches long and about 1 1/2-inches thick. Wrap the dough tightly in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • To bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator while preparing the egg wash. Whisk together the egg and water. Lightly brush the entire log with the egg wash. Pour the coarse sugar down the middle of a piece of parchment or wax paper. Roll the dough log in the sugar to coat, pressing down firmly to adhere. Using a large, thin, sharp knife, slice the log into 24 (1/2-inch) rounds. Place the cookies on the prepared cookies sheets, about 1-inch apart. They don’t spread much so no worries. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with sea salt, if using. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until the they are starting to brown on the bottom and the cookies are set. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.


  • The butter must be very soft or the dough won't mix well and may seem dry.
  • Don’t chop the chocolate too small, you’ll want some chunks, not just shards.
  • Make sure to properly measure your flour. Lightly spoon it into your measuring cup and level off the top with the dull side of a knife. The dough will be too dry if you add too much flour.
  • My favorite baking chocolate is Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate.
  • Lay a ruler next to the cookie dough log and make hashmarks with a knife at 1/2-inch intervals. This makes it easier to slice the dough into similar size cookies.
  • When slicing the cookies, use a sawing motion if you come to a large chocolate chunk.
  • If the cookie dough splits or breaks apart, just piece it back together into a round. No worries!
  • You can substitute chocolate chips for the chopped chocolate in a pinch, but the big chunks of rich chocolate is part of the appeal of these cookies.
  • The cookie dough can be made ahead and stored tightly wrapped in parchment and plastic wrap for 4 days before baking.
  • The dough can also be frozen for up to a month. Defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator for about 4 hours before slicing.