I almost didn’t know what to call this recipe post. There’s so many awesome things to highlight in these cookies. I would’ve called them Incredible Sea Salted Brown Butter Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies Loaded and Dunked with Dark Chocolate. But it’s a little wordy, no? So Salted Brown Butter and Dark Chocolate Icebox Cookies it is. But don’t let that fool you. These are loaded with so many flavours that make this cookie magic. Brown butter is the ultimate addition to any baked recipe, with its nutty flavor and seriously incredible aroma. Shortbread speaks for itself. It’s a soft and crumbly cookie that literally melts in your mouth and adorns holiday dessert tables all across the globe. And lets not forget dark chocolate. It’s a serious part of my life, and gets me through pretty much every work day. Just a little sprinkle of sea salt makes the world go round. And slice and bake? Invented by a very, very smart person.
Have you ever visited a bakery, and the countertop is lined with domed stands full of bakery style shortbread cookies? These are it folks. The flavor combinations are infinite! Bake shop owners are cutting and slicing butter rich shortbread cookies all the live long day. And for good reason, they’re dead simple and taste incredible. I’m raising my hand here, as a former bake shop owner, who sliced and baked my way through hundreds of cookie trays every holiday season. I still get the odd text or call, If you’re baking any shortbread cookies over the holidays I’ll take a dozen!
This is the first time though, that I’ve replaced half of the butter with brown butter. And now I’m rethinking every darn recipe I have on here. What the sam heck have I waited so long for? I’ve made brown butter plenty of times for cakes, which adds an incredible nutty element, but to shortbread cookies? Nope, never crossed my mind, and now that opens a whole world of flavor possibilities! I’m going to be slicing and baking right into the new year. I have an entire bake book of slice and bake cookies in my brain, just dying to get out.
This is why I run people.
Have I mentioned that these can be made well ahead of time, baked and frozen with no compromise to taste? Or dough made ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator and baked off as needed? Did you know you can also very easily double this recipe, and flavor each half with a different combination? Did you know you can flavor each quarter with a different flavor combination if you so desire?!
Have I mentioned that I have an entire slice and bake book in my brain just dying to get out?!
That’s it guys. I can’t build up the beauty of this recipe up anymore. I only might add that last year I did a full post for my friends at Hello Creative Family about some other ridiculously delicious ice box cookie flavor options. I was just as excited then as I am now.
Go forth and brown butter friends. Happy baking!
Salted Brown Butter and Dark Chocolate Icebox Cookies
*yield is 18 large bakery style cookies or 20-24 smaller cookies
- 1/2 cup brown butter, instructions below
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sifted icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
- 1 tsp shortening
- sea salt for garnish
- To brown the butter, place 1/2 cup of cubed butter in a glass pie plate. Cover with a plate to catch any spatters, and microwave for 6-8 minutes. The butter will bubble furiously for a few minutes as all water evaporates out and the milk protein solids begin to brown. Keep an eye, as it can burn quickly. Add more time in 30 second increments if needed. Transfer browned butter to a container (so it doesn’t keep cooking) and allow to come to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the cooled brown butter and continue beating for a few minutes. Add the confectioners sugar and beat again until fully combined and smooth again. Add the salt, yolks and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour and mix just until combined. Add 3/4 of the chocolate chips and stir just until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter that has been lightly dusted with confectioners sugar. Roll the dough into a sausage about 2 1/2- 3 inches in diameter. For smaller sizes, roll into a smaller log.
- Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (you can also freeze it for 30 minutes). Once chilled, unwrap the log and slice it into rounds approx. 1/2 inch thick. Place cookies about 1 inch apart, on a sheet lined with parchment, and bake for 14 minutes. Allow cookies to rest for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Melt the remaining chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe dish. Stir until smooth. Garnish cookies with melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Cookies freeze exceptionally.
- Eggs are not typically added to shortbread cookies. I like to add them for extra richness. If you’re going to double this recipe, 3 yolks is more than enough.