The all time most popular post on my blog so far has been my Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies. I’m happy for that cookie, I really am. It deserves the attention it’s gotten, after all, when was the last time you saw a cookie that intensely chocolaty? But I got to thinking that my other shortbread cookies deserve a little love, too.
Like this one. It’s made with creamy peanut butter, sea salt and milk chocolate chips.
You know I love these slice and bake shortbread recipes. Who wouldn’t love to have a log or two of cookie dough hanging out in their fridge? You can get all the measuring and mixing and messy hands out of the way early and then have the luxury of fresh dough waiting at your beck and call. Let me put it another way: when you’ve got this dough in the fridge you’re 12 minutes away from nirvana.
- 1 stick, (1/2 cup, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (important!)
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup (156 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (31 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- Cream the butter and the peanut butter together in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or a wooden spoon. Make sure to get the butter and peanut butter completely combined and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together and is no longer crumbly.
- Stir in the chips, and turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper. Gently pull the dough together and form it into a log. If it is still crumbly, work it with your hands until it holds together smoothly. Roll it up in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends securely and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. The log will be about 71/2--8 inches long.
- While the dough is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 350F
- Slice the log into slices with a sharp knife. Not too thick, not too thin, about 1/3 inch. If a slice crumbles a bit, just smoosh the dough back together. These don't have to be perfect disks.
- Bake on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet at 350F for about 12-14 minutes, depending on how thick your cookies are. The cookies will not be browned, and they may look undone, but don't over bake. One of the joys of shortbread cookies is that they fall apart and melt in your mouth.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.
Tips for success —
- Make sure to start with room temperature butter. This helps the dough come together smoothly. And thoroughly combine it with the peanut butter until the mixture is creamy.
- Measure your flour carefully. I fluff the flour first to loosen it, then scoop the measuring cup and level it off. This helps insure you get an accurate measure and not too much flour, which will affect the quality of the cookies.
- Mix the dough until it comes together and is no longer crumbly.
- Use regular, not natural peanut butter. I use Jif.
- If you have trouble with the dough crumbling when you slice it, this is due to the chocolate chips. I just form the cookies back into shape on the cookie sheet. It helps to use a very sharp knife, and you can also try a sharp serrated knife to cut through the chips. You can use tiny chips if you want to, which will help, but I prefer the taste of the big chunks of chocolate.
- If you make smaller cookies (i.e. more than 10-12) adjust the baking time, it will take slightly less time for them to cook.
- Expect these cookies to have a shortbread texture, which is to say delicate and crumbly, and very buttery. They aren’t the same as a regular chewy or cakey cookie. Shortbread has a distinctive texture.
**Check out this post for a variation on these cookies!