Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread


Makes approximately 18 cookies


  • 125g unsalted brown butter (you need approximately 200g of butter as it will reduce significantly once cooked)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g walnuts (finely chopped)
  • 100g semi-sweet or milk chocolate (roughly chopped)
  • 40g Demerara sugar (for rolling)


  1. Place 200g of unsalted butter into a light coloured pan (this will help you to keep an eye on the colour of the butter as it browns).
  2. Put the pan over a medium heat and begin gently melting the butter. Swirl the butter occasionally to ensure even cooking and browning. The butter will change colour throughout the cooking process; cook the butter until a toasty brown colour and nutty aroma is achieved.
  3. At this point take the pan off the heat and pour the browned butter through a sieve to remove all the milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Refrigerate the brown butter for 1 hour until solidified but still soft (similar to the consistency of room temperature butter).
  5. Cream the caster sugar and 125g of the brown butter until light and fluffy.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and the zest of 1 large orange and mix until combined.
  7. Add the plain flour and mix until just combined (being careful not to over-mix).
  8. Add the chopped walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate and fold into the dough using a spatula until evenly distributed.
  9. Using either your hands or a paddle attachment bring the dough together to form a ball.
  10. Take the ball of dough and form it into a log; wrap the log in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  11. Once the dough has chilled and set, begin pre-heating your oven to 170°C.
  12. Remove the cookie log from the fridge and brush with some melted brown butter (you should have some left over at this point) and then roll in Demerara sugar until the exterior of the log is completely coated.
  13. Cut the log into 1cm slices using a sharp knife.
  14. Place the sliced shortbread on to a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 – 18 minutes until very lightly browned.
  15. Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before enjoying.


  • Feel free to omit the walnuts for dried cranberries which should work perfectly with the combination of flavours in this recipe.
  • Instead of rolling the dough into a log, it can also be scooped using a cookie scooper and baked as such. Just remember to press down each mound of dough lightly with a lid or the bottom of a glass (any flat surface with do) to ensure even thickness. You can then at this point sprinkle with Demerara sugar, chill for an hour and then proceed as per instructions provided above.
  • The Demerara sugar in this recipe can also be substituted with turbinado sugar.
  • If you wish, you can substitute the vanilla extract in this recipe for half a pod of vanilla for extra vanilla flavour.

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