Burnt Butter

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Salted Shortbread

6/27/2020 10:38:00 PM

Brown butter brown sugar salted shortbread. These chunky shortbread bars are easy to make, super delicious and totally compulsive. The perfect snack to have on hand for tea time!

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Salted Shortbread
Brown Butter Brown Sugar Salted Shortbread

Hi! Sneaking in with a quick recipe post! I absolutely love all kinds of shortbread, and when I saw this recipe for chinsuko (Okinawan salted shortbread) on Adam Liaw's Instagram, I had to have them and got straight into the kitchen!

These biscuits look plain but are absolutely full of rich flavour. I amped up the flavour even further by browning the butter. (You have to melt it anyway, so why not just let it go a bit longer until it turns brown and smells amazing?) The remaining ingredients are just brown sugar, flour and a generous amount of flaky sea salt. The brown sugar brings a lovely light toffee flavour, which works so well with the nutty browned butter. And the salt enhances all the flavours and really makes them pop! Shortbread 2.0.

Another modification I made to the recipe was a lazy simplification - with our baby at home and with me being back at full time work (also from home), I just did not have the energy or time to roll the dough out thinly and carefully cut the biscuits out, so I took the lazy route of simply pressing the dough into a lined twenty centimetre square tin. This resulted in a slightly thicker, chunkier, biscuit than Adam's recipe, but I found the plain sturdiness very appealing. I kept them in an airtight container and kept snacking on them throughout the week - perfect with a cup of tea to fuel an afternoon conference call! 

I would have called these "Brown Butter Chinsuko", but after a little online research I learned that chinsuko are delicate little biscuits from Okinawa that are traditionally made with lard - very different in style and substance to these chunky bars. These are a lot closer to traditional British shortbread, so I've stuck with that naming.

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Salted Shortbread
Brown butter brown sugar salted shortbread


Brown Butter Brown Sugar Salted Shortbread
Adapted from Adam Liaw

175 grams unsalted butter
150 grams soft brown sugar
300 grams flour
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 170C.
In a light coloured pan, (so you can see the colour change), melt the butter over a medium heat. Continue cooking until the butter foams up and starts to sizzle, and the milk solids separate. Stir with a heatproof spatula to prevent the milk solids sticking to the pan. Once the sizzling has subsided and the butter has turned from yellow to a medium brown colour, (and most importantly, smells amazing), take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar.
Stir in the flour to form a dough.
Line a 20 x 20cm square tin with baking paper, leaving some overhang to make it easier to lift out the finished shortbread. Press the dough into the tin, flattening it with the back of a wooden spoon or the base of a sturdy glass. Prick all over with a fork, and sprinkle with sea salt. Press the salt in with your fingers. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the tin from the oven and cut the dough into bars. (If your tin is non stick or you're worried about scratching it, you may like to use the paper to gently lift and slide the shortbread slab from the tin onto a chopping board, before cutting it into bars and then placing back in the tin).
Bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until dry on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before serving. The shortbread will keep in an airtight container for weeks.
Makes 1 x 20cm square of shortbread

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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