June 27, 2016

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Shortbread

Given how much of a success my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies were a few years ago, I figured I should post another recipe that's even better for picnics, barbecues, and other 4th of July celebrations. Instead of a soft peanut-butter flavored chocolate chip cookie, this recipe is a buttery, crumbly peanut butter shortbread studded with mini chocolate chips. You can make the dough as far in advance as you want and bake off however many cookies you want, and the best part is that it's egg free, so you can eat whatever dough you don't bake.

The dough is insanely easy to make. All you have to do is beat some peanut butter, softened butter, and granulated sugar together, add a splash of vanilla, stir in some flour and salt, and fold in as many mini chocolate chips as you want. No eggs, no leavening, no liquid ingredients. You can make things more interesting texturally by using crunchy peanut butter or stirring in a handful of chopped roasted peanuts. A pinch of flaky sea salt on top of each sliced cookie would bring out the peanutty flavor as well.

Once the dough comes together, roll it into a log and chill it for at least an hour. This allows all the dry ingredients to hydrate and the moisture to redistribute. Cold dough is also much easier to slice neatly than soft room-temperature dough. It can be difficult sometimes to get a perfectly round log (and whatever shape log you have is how the cookies will bake unless you're some sort of wizard), but I like to wrap the dough in parchment or plastic wrap, shape it gently into a log, and place the log in a split paper towel tube. The cardboard tube helps keep a smooth, round shape, which results in pretty, circular cookies.

To dress these cookies up for a summer event, you can easily turn them into ice cream sandwiches instead of just eating them plain. I'm pretty much drooling right now picturing some salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between two of these addicting cookies. You can also crumble them up and use them as an ice cream topping if that's more your style. Even better, you can crumble up the dough and use that as a mix-in since no eggs = no salmonella. Food poisoning would be kind of a bummer, at least at my Independence Day cookout, so stick with these cookies and you'll have a great time. These cookies speak for themselves and their taste is a much better selling point than a lack of food poisoning, so just try them and maybe not mention that part.

2 Sticks Butter, Softened
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
3 1/3 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1/3 Cup Chopped Roasted Peanuts, Optional

Beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then stir in the flour and salt. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Split the dough in half and roll each into a log. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350F and line cookie trays with parchment.

Cut the log into slices and bake for 8-12 minutes or until set.

Makes 30
Recipe Adapted from How Sweet Eats

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