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Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Squares

The milk-chocolate topping of these cookies looks like the result of masterful piping, but it's actually a cinch to make using a mold. Beneath the chocolate hides a layer of peanut butter on top of brown-sugar shortbread, all of them adding up to a treat that's creamy and crumbly and rich throughout.

  • Yield: Makes about 36 squares
Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Squares

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2008

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions

  1. Coat a 9 1/2-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides, and coat parchment with spray.

  2. Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Press dough evenly into pan. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake shortbread until golden brown and firm in center, 45 to 50 minutes. Let shortbread cool in pan on a wire rack.

  4. Place a basket-weave mat, trimmed to fit pan, on a rimmed baking sheet, and spread melted chocolate evenly on mat. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

  5. Use parchment to unmold shortbread from pan, and trim edges to create a square. Spread peanut butter evenly on shortbread. Carefully center chocolate, mat side up, on top of peanut butter, and gently peel off mat. Cut shortbread into 1 1/2-inch squares. Shortbread will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Cook's Note

You will need a basket-weave mat (we used an 8"-by-16" rubber texture mat in basket weave (PA 01-6), $12, from chineseclayart.com) to imprint the chocolate with the woven motif. To make the squares without a mat, spread the melted chocolate atop the peanut butter layer, and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Reviews (35)

  • Liz Tsuji 15 Mar, 2013

    Here is a chocolate mold with basket weave: http://www.flavortools.com/8h-4895.html smaller than the clay one suggested but I think it could be pieced together.

  • jhkang356 21 Jan, 2013

    http://www.theceramicshop.com/store/product/1079/Texture-Mat,-Basket-Weave/

    I found this (if anyone else was looking for the mat mentioned in the article), but it's the rubber mat. It seems like it can only be used for non-food stuff like clay.

  • jhkang356 21 Jan, 2013

    Where can I find a mat that is food safe for the chocolate? I looked on the chinese clay art website and couldn't find either the rubber or plastic mat. looks like this recipe has been up for a couple of years. I only just saw it on Martha's facebook page today. I love the pattern, so I'd like to find a mat rather than just spread the chocolate over the peanut butter. Any links to mats or store suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks :)

  • AllThingsART 9 Oct, 2014

    The basket weave mat is on the Chinese Clayart website under link: Food Decoration. The Basket weave mat is the last one in the "Texture Mats, Plastic" list.

  • jhkang356 21 Jan, 2013

    @sciguy, I haven't made these yet, but maybe you should refrigerate the shortbread and peanut butter before putting the chocolate layer on top? That will probably help firm up the peanut butter. also what kind of peanut butter are you using? natural or just regular peanut butter? natural peanut butter is usually more liquidy. Hopefully this helps.

  • sciguy 10 Dec, 2011

    The chocolate worked well, but the peanut butter oozed out when I cut it. Anyone have a solution?Should I chill it before I cut it?Thought that would make the chocolate brittle.

  • elliebelliebabydoll 26 Sep, 2011

    Kimlin loook left I also had trouble until I looked in a different place

  • DesignMan 26 Sep, 2011

    These sounds really good and I like the basketweave design on top. I will be ordering one of those molds right now. Can't wait to try these but I am going to use dark chocolate. I will post a new review as soon as I have prepared these.

  • kimlin 26 Sep, 2011

    Why can't I find a "add to my collections" button? Did it move? Did they take this feature away?

  • Paradoxcake 16 Jan, 2011

    To Yllota: While it says it would be good up to 3 days I believe that would be for prime results. I have had cookies stay in an airtight container for well over that length of time with no spoilage or loss of quality. Certainly freezing the peanut butter would cause it to separate but I think if you made half a recipe and put 2/3 of it in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, then a layer of foil and then placed in an airtight container you would have great results. (The foil blocks smells)

  • Yllota 3 Jul, 2010

    Do you think I could freeze it? Because I live by myself and would like to make this to use as a quick grab and go snack, but if it only keeps for 3 days then its not a good idea because even if I only baked half of the recipe it would still be way too much for just one person...
    It obviously can't be thawed in the microwave because of the chocolate layer, but if I thaw it overnight do you think it will be fine of the fat in the peanut butter would likely separate or something? Tks in advance

  • jamienisbet 5 Feb, 2010

    I made this for an office birthday. It was a big hit. I did not have the mat, so I spread the chocolate on top, still nice to look at. I used dark chocolate, because it is the birthday person's favorite. Martha Stewart wins again.

  • cheesecakegal 1 Apr, 2009

    freeze it with the cholcolate on it for 5 minutes. that should work!

  • kimmer08 28 Jan, 2009

    help! I ordered the mat and followed the instructions, but the chocolate would not come off the mat. What am i doing wrong?

  • kirangrewal 22 Jan, 2009

    it was a hit at a potluck i brought it to!!

  • Maysem 19 Jan, 2009

    Oh...and just wanted to add in case no one noticed it...it does say on the website that the plastic (and not for the rubber) that it is food safe. States the following: Introduced by Martha Stewart Living-Food Safe Plastic. Also, in parenthesis there is a link to this recipe.

    The info under "Helpful Hint" is most likely a typo, which is not the first I found on this website.

  • Maysem 18 Jan, 2009

    Oh...and just wanted to add in case no one noticed it...it does say on the website that the plastic (and not for the rubber) that it is food safe. States the following: Introduced by Martha Stewart Living-Food Safe Plastic. Also, in parenthesis there is a link to this recipe.

    The info under "Helpful Hint" is most likely a typo, which is not the first I found on this website.

  • Maysem 18 Jan, 2009

    Did anyone get a message box pop up upon check-out saying you have to spend more than $20 to place your order?

  • jpnlpinlove 15 Jan, 2009

    The site has both rubber and plastic.

  • supersewer 15 Jan, 2009

    Does Martha Stewart sell the mat to do the chocolate topping, please advise

  • cookiemold 15 Jan, 2009

    The basket weave mat (PA 01-6) is plastic NOT rubber. Which one did you use? And are they both food safe? Thank you.

  • LaBayou2000 15 Jan, 2009

    That's very neat to make on the top of this basket molding to dress up...applaused for Easter to celebrate great!!

  • 1Toffy 15 Jan, 2009

    I have learned thru many different places that the trick to cutting stuff like this is to use a hot wet sharp knife on cooled or chilled items. Including cakes.

  • pattiet 15 Jan, 2009

    The PA 01-6 mat mentioned in the notes following the recipe above is NOT 8" x 16" according to the website, but 8" x 12". It does claim to be food safe, but like pbruns17 said, it wouldnt properly fit a 9.5 inch pan. Did anyone see her make this on the show? Did she leave edges plain, or what?

  • fabulousfran 15 Jan, 2009

    I'd love to make these....can't you just put the chocolate on the peanut butter and be happy with the great flavor?

  • cbl1 15 Jan, 2009

    the mats made by chinese clay art are not intended to be used with food. They may or may not be food sae. I would be much more comfortable suing mats and mold designed for candy and cake decorating - they are easy to find online.

  • jennyrebecca 15 Jan, 2009

    I would think you'd use scissors to trim the rubber mat...

  • pbruns17 15 Jan, 2009

    How do you trim an 8"X16" rubber mold to fit a 9.5" square pan?

  • timboheff 12 Dec, 2008

    you can also get the whole set of 6 texture mats from www.sheffield-pottery.com which includes the basket weave and the wood and 4 more that are all great fun for baking !

  • dmcgrathpanp 7 Dec, 2008

    Has anyone tried a candy/cookie mold from a website like countrykitchens (http://www.countrykitchensa.com). I think that no what the clay molds will smell and taste like rubber.

  • jenmcg 1 Dec, 2008

    you can also order one from www.sheffield-pottery.com (and it costs less!)

  • luckiefullerton 8 Nov, 2008

    Hi mlane72. I just went on the same website, looking for the same thing you bought.
    I finally found the goofy thing, but I think you bought the wrong one.
    Right next to the black and white rubber ones, there are white and tan ones that Martha Stewart has some reference to from her magazine ...
    So hopefully, I get the one you didn't but check it out.

  • luckiefullerton 8 Nov, 2008

    Hi mlane72. I just went on the same website, looking for the same thing you bought.
    I finally found the goofy thing, but I think you bought the wrong one.
    Right next to the black and white rubber ones, there are white and tan ones that Martha Stewart has some reference to from her magazine ...
    So hopefully, I get the one you didn't but check it out.

  • mlane72 5 Nov, 2008

    Help!!!!!!! I bought the basket weave from chineseclaart.com and it smelled like a rubber tire so I washed it in warm water then I ran it through the dishwasher and it still smelled. I thought I would try making the choc. peanut butter shortbread sq uares and see how they came out. The choc. looked amazing but it tasted like it smelled. Like a rubber tire I had to throw out the entire batch of squares. How do I get the taste of rubber out of the rubber mat?????

  • Justine2008 31 Oct, 2008

    Wow! That's crazzy cool! :O

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