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Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Squares

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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

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 Notes

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 Add a comment

  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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 :)
    Reply
    • geomaxfl@yahoo.com
      29 JAN, 2017
      Haven't made the recipe yet, but found the basket weave on site mentioned in NOTE. They have upped the price another $2. It is now $14, not $12
    • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • elliebelliebabydoll
    26 SEP, 2011
    Kimlin loook left I also had trouble until I looked in a different place
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • VeganD
    26 SEP, 2011
    Why can't I find a "add to my collections" button? Did it move? Did they take this feature away?
    Reply
  • 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)
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply