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Salted Grapefruit Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies by Baking The Goods

Salted Grapefruit Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

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These crisp yet subtly chewy Salted Grapefruit Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies are studded with chunks, bits, streams and specks of dark chocolate chunks brightened up with fresh grapefruit juice and zest, delightfully enhanced by the delicate crunch of sea salt flakes. 


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (- at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 medium grapefruit (- zested and juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tablespoons sea salt flakes


  1. Coarsely chop the dark chocolate chips into rough chunks and bits, set aside. 
  2. Measure flour, salt and the zest of the grapefruit into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  3. With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on a medium high speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy, airy and lighter in color. Be sure to stop your mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times so you are sure to incorporate all of the sugar into the butter.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and vanilla extract and cream until blended.
  5. With the mixer on a low stir, slowly add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. You don’t want to over-mix here, only mix until things have just come together.
  6. Gently stir in the chopped dark chocolate chips until just incorporated. 
  7. Turn out the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Gently gather the dough together into a disk by gently patting, not kneading the dough, and pat to flatten the top. Once you have a round disk shape, use a knife or a bench knife to cut directly in half and set aside.
  8. Clean your work surface with a bench knife, then lay down a sheet of parchment paper. If you have a couple of empty paper towel rolls handy, have them available. Drop one of your dough halves on the parchment paper and use your hands to shape a rough log shape, roll into a smooth log until it is about 1 -1 1⁄2” in diameter (eyeball it to about the size of your empty paper towel roll).
  9. Wrap the parchment paper around your dough log, lengthwise. Then twist each end of the paper into pigtails in opposite directions (one towards you and one away from you) to form a locking mechanism. With each twist, the dough will compress and becomes smoothed out (think of it like a sausage in a casing). Roll from the center outward until you feel that you have a smooth, cylindrical log.
    Now you can get tricky (optionally) and stuff that dough log into an empty paper towel roll, it should be a snug fit but should slide in and out easily. The idea behind the paper towel roll is that your dough is going to hold it’s cylindrical shape while it chills instead of having a flat bottom.
  10. Repeat with second log. Then refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, if not 2. This allows the dough to set up and hold it’s round shape nicely when baking. 
    You can also freeze the dough at this point. Just remember to defrost it overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about a 30 minutes before slicing and baking.
  11. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  12. Remove dough log from the fridge and unroll on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into 1⁄4” - 1⁄2” thick cookies. You should get about 16-20 cookies per log. Arrange them on a Silpat mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet, evenly spaced, with at least 1" between each cookie.
  13. Lightly sprinkle the top of each sliced cookie with sea salt flakes.
  14. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the bake. They should come out with a golden ring around the edge and be firm to the touch with just a bit of give in the center. Repeat with the second log or store the second log in the freezer for fresh baked cookies on another day.
  15. Allow to cool either right on the trays or on a cooling rack. 


These Salted Grapefruit Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies are pretty darn delish with a little bowl of creamy vanilla ice cream. The Vanilla Bean by Straus Family Creamery is a particularly good pairing as it is less sweet and more creamy than many others vanilla ice cream brands. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Cookies