the salted butter + chocolate chip shortbreads that everyone made.

chocolate chip shortbreads. | a periodic tableI made these cookies, along with the rest of the internet, sooooo…….moving on, I guess?

They’re really good, although I’d argue that a chocolate chip cookie has to try very, very hard to be horrible. You want to pro and con this out real quick before we put this one to bed? Okay great! You know I love a chocolate chip cookie comparison.


It’s a chocolate chip cookie, which is always going to work out well.

Slice and bake cookies are just fun to make. you get to shape dough in a log, refrigerate it, and then slice it up into little rounds. What’s not to love?

Because of the slice-and-bake situation, you can roll it in things. This time, it’s demerara sugar for a sweet crystal crunch. Next time, it could be anything: crushed peanuts would be fun, or pecans. sprinkles are always welcome…maybe those chocolate jimmies.

Again, it’s a chocolate chip cookie at the end of the day. Pretty classic ingredient profile.


Telling someone to chop chocolate into shards – not to small – and add to a slice and bake cookie is asking for trouble. When you slice the cookie, those chocolate shards will be cold and hard, making it very easy for them to *not* slice cleanly.

These are not the soft, almost-not-done chocolate chip cookies you’re used to: these are a shortbread-hard variety, and you have no choice in that. I loved the flavor, but I did miss that little give-way when you bite into the center. Along the same line, i missed the crispy edges: sure, you get sugar crunch, but it isn’t the same as those thin little bark-like cookie crisps around the perimeter.

Slice and bakes always carry with them one big problem, exacerbated by any sort of chunks (chocolate chips in this case) or fancy-pants rolling two doughs together for a spiral, etc: there are inevitable gaps in the inner core of your cookie. Ones you won’t see until you slice it. I even slapped my logs on the countertop and pressed, and I still ended up with some errant gaps here and there.

chocolate chip shortbreads. | a periodic table

Final Feels: 

I would totally make these again: it’s a fun take on a chocolate chip cookie with all the classic flavor but in a fresh way. That said, I’d totally make my own chocolate chip cookies again and these would in. no. way. replace the bumpy, lumpy, mix-and-scoops we all have in our canon of baking.

That said, the cookbook these come out of is superb – Alison Roman’s Dining In – and  you’ll be seeing many more of those recipes show up here in the coming months because I am simply devouring it right now and I can’t decide what to make next.

Since I couldn’t wow you with a recipe you hadn’t seen yet, I thought I’d do a little house update. We move in here almost two years ago, and I’ve slowly been doing some updates. Nothing major – we’re no Young House Love or anything – but after living in a space, even for just two years, you can forget how much you’ve changed it into your own thing. Here’s what I’ve done so far to our first floor; bear in mind I’m never actually “finished” with any project, ever. This entire house will always be a work in progress.

Dining Room

When we bought it:

dining room from kitchen - old


dining room 2018

dining room 2018

I think red dining rooms can go really right, but they can also be…a lot. This one was way too much for me; I like neutrals, and I have never been a fan of red in my own home (although I have admired it in others’ homes.) Safe to say this was the very first project we tackled. Still need to do the lighting – that chandelier just can’t stay because it doesn’t go with the room anymore. It’s pretty, and hand-painted, and a little Swedish-folk-looking, so I’m going to see if it’ll fit in anywhere else in the house. Also getting some stand lighting for both sides of the buffet: simple, nothing crazy. Someday I’m getting rid of those window boxes, but that’s a whole big project that I don’t have time for at the moment. We need two more chairs – the heads – for the table. I want something vintage, so I’m hunting when I can.

Living Room

When we bought it:

living room - old


living room - 2018

I don’t know what it is about the area I live in, but like every. dude. around. has turned his living room into some sort of home office. I guess I get it: we grew up in an age where the living room was technically IN our house, but no one used it except for daily piano practice and the christmas tree. Turning it into an office just seems like giving up, and my living room in this house is filled with gorgeous light all day long, so for us, this has turned into as much of a used room as the family room. It’s really open to the rest of the house, so you don’t feel apart from people, and it gives you a whole other sofa hang out on. Yellow isn’t on my fave house colors list either, for myself: I have seen very beautiful yellow rooms, but this particular tone wasn’t for me, and it didn’t go with the furniture we had for in here. I’m not 100% sure I’m keeping the grey: it’s the same as the dining room, and i love the color, but at the time (2 years ago), we were toying with getting a new darker grey sofa. I’m not sure what it’ll end up as…there’s a cream paint I’ve since fallen in love with, and I’m thinking about changing it.

Family Room

When we bought it:

family room from kitchen - old


family room 2018

family room 2018

This has been one of the more difficult rooms in the house to work with. It’s heavy on the wood, which I like for its heavy late 60’s/70’s vibe sometimes. Other times, I want to redo the entire fireplace / bookshelf wall in white, same with the window trim. Someday it’ll happen, but as you can see from all the photos, one of the biggest things we need to tackle is the parquet flooring. Now, I have a special place in my heart for parquet: I secretly (not so secretly) love it, but it does need to be updated: the family room and foyer are original to the house, and it’s not in the best shape. So when we do that, we’ll probably work on the rest of this: for now, we’re sticking with the retro vibes, thanks to my old orange chair (from my childhood! the other one is in my bedroom), a swanky old picnic basket, and some well-placed plaid. It’s super cozy in there: one of my favorite rooms to sit in, especially in the winter. We need to work on lighting in there as well: I’d like some recessed lights because it can go “chic cave” pretty easily, as you can see from the photos. Not always a bad thing, but it would be nice to have options. Another floor light in here will probably happen, too.

I’m still working on some projects upstairs, and the kitchen right now is in a little bit of a flux also: we’ll get to that after my next phase of improvements. You’ve seen my kitchen a few times on Instagram, and it’s definitely been updated since we’ve moved in, thanks a fresh coat or two of white paint, but I have big, tedious, time-consuming plans for it this spring. Stay tuned.

Remember earlier when we talked about cookies? Here’s the recipe, taken from Alison Roman’s Dining In cookbook, which I love. I’m not mad at the cookies at all: like I said, they’re quite delicious, and pretty fun to make.

Salted Butter + Chocolate Chip Shortbreads

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (but not too fine, you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • Demerara sugar (for rolling)
  • Flaky sea salt

Make those cookies:

Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, followed by chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend.

Divide dough in half, then place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form 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. Each half should form logs that are 2–2¼” in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet (two, if you’ve got ’em) with parchment paper. Brush outside of logs with egg wash. Roll logs in Demerara sugar (this is for those really delicious crispy edges).

Slice each log into ½”-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1″ apart (they won’t spread much). Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.


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  • Reply Abbe@This is How I Cook January 22, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve seen these cookies so it was nice to hear what you had to say. As for houses…well, we’ve been in ours for 27 years. It is a never ending project! Luckily I enjoy design and can do lot myself but when lack of funds hit it gets quite exasperating. Right now I am in desperate need of a new couch and 2 new soft chairs. I can’t even wash the covers they are so old. But that picnic basket? I have one that’s identical. Use it to take things out to my folly in the summer!

    • Reply shannon March 14, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Abbe, you give me hope that even 27 years from now i’ll still be working on things (meanwhile, my husband is crying – can you blame him?) 😉 it’s never-ending, but always fun: I love house projects, so I always look forward to tackling room after room.

      yay a fellow vintage picnic basket fan! Of course you are…we use ours too, even if it’s just to pack up and take to the park. makes it feel more special, i think, right?

  • Reply Ashley January 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I totally get you on this – it’s impossible (or at least very, very hard) to have a bad cc cookie….but sometimes you can’t resist trying a variation just to make sure… It’s something my husband has never quite comprehended about my approach to food. Even if I don’t enjoy the new version, I’m still happy I did it. But…that said….I’d eat just about any cc cookie I can get my paws on.

    Love the house updates! We’re very, very slow here, and always wonder why it took us so darn long to do the update. Right now we’re on floors. We have lived here just over 2 years and had a flooring allowance added to our purchase….but we used it elsewhere and never quite got around to dealing with the deplorable condition of the carpet and linoleum. I’m excited, but stressed about moving stuff around (especially the closets and cabinets) and about keeping the cats safe and stress-free (well, minimized stress).

    I’m eager to check out Dining In, since you’re raving about it and Deb of SK raved about it too.

    Totally random tangent – I love my new cookbook additions! Bravetart has so many things you’ll love — histories of each dish (with citations!!!), clear instructions with handy tips (worth their weight in gold), and at least a few variations at the end of each recipe. Ottolenghi’s Sweet is stunning, of course. I haven’t made anything yet, but it seems the most “normal” in terms of ingredient lists and work loads.
    You should also (if you haven’t already) check out Sweeter on the Vine by Yossy Arefi and Dinner by Melissa Clark (heavy rotation here!). Those are well loved favorites now and trusted for a perfect result every time.

    • Reply shannon March 14, 2018 at 11:04 am

      See, and now we’re at the point in me catching up on your beautiful comments where i miss you terribly and we just need to email/catchup. let’s do that, okay? i remember our long giant emails and i feel like we’re gearing up for one. 😉

    • Reply shannon March 14, 2018 at 11:06 am

      and i’m making cookbook notes from your suggestions: i’ve been cracking them open more and more over the past few weeks, and having new ones to rent and look at always inspires me to make more.

      listen: never feel bad about how long a house takes to really make YOUR house: decorating is costly – SO COSTLY – and you can’t just slam stuff into all your rooms without first living in them, because you’ll hate it in like 6 months. trust me: i know. I’ve learned over time that it’s important to really live in a space and see what you want to do with it before jumping in: i mean, yeah, that’s the reason so many of our walls are still empty, but still: if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it right.

  • Reply shanna January 22, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    haha, I made these this past weekend, too, subbing coconut sugar and feeling pretty sure that would throw everything off. also used a food processor. also added a touch of milk because idk I thought it looked like it needed a little. and then instead of cutting chocolate I went ahead and used store-bought chocolate chunks. then to my surprise they were great, and that alone gave them 10 points in my book. now every time someone posts about them, on instagram or off, I can’t turn away. I want to read every one of the million reviews.

    • Reply shannon March 14, 2018 at 10:57 am

      and someday that will happen, because i’m pretty sure by now there are 1 million reviews out there for these hahahaha. 🙂
      i like the addition of more milk: i think mine could have used that as well, if for no other reason that to really set the dough (a few of mine, no matter how firmly i rolled them into logs, had a few holes or cracks.) Food processor is a nice way to go too, honestly: i’ve done that many a time with cookies like this, always with pretty decent results.

  • Reply movita beaucoup January 23, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Totally vibin’ on your house. Love what you’ve done with the place. Though the DAD office in the living room could have been a conversation piece…

    • Reply shannon March 14, 2018 at 10:55 am

      I’ve noticed that virtually every house in my area has a dad office instead of a living room, and i hate it, mostly because it’s super lame. Everyone knows if you work from home, you slam yourself into a teeny desk or just work at your kitchen table…come on.

  • Reply John / Kitchen Riffs January 23, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Love shortbread (and who doesn’t love chocolate?) so I’m loving these cookies. Your house is looking great — you’ve done a nice job. Anyway, fun post — thanks.

    • Reply shannon March 14, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Thanks John! seriously, who doesn’t love shortbread? it’s so versatile and honestly, it’s butter, sugar and flour: yay.
      thank you for the house compliments! 🙂

  • Reply elizabeth January 26, 2018 at 7:10 am

    I’m loving your dining room the most as that table is divine. The only really legitimate justification for turning a living room into an office is if that person primarily works from home and you can create doors to close it off from the rest of the house; otherwise, you’re basically asking everyone to come in and bother you whenever. Can’t wait to see the rest of your improvements–we’re finally figuring out some kitchen projects we want to do and I’m pretty stoked.

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