Saturday, October 20, 2018

Almond Shortbread Cookies

*The shortbread are the center cookies; see recipe for Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars for the chocolate covered bars.
  • Butter (to butter the pan)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch slices, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (148g) sugar
  • 1 cup (120g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (56g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (48g) almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 9-inch pie pan, or a tart pan with a removable rim.
  2. Mix butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Stir in flour, cornstarch, almond flour and salt. Mix until combined. Beat in vanilla and milk just until combined. Knead with your hands if necessary; the dough will come together in big clumps.
  4. Press dough into the pan: Scrape the dough into the pan and press into an even layer into the bottom of the pan (it should not go up the sides).
  5. Cover the bottom of a 1-cup dry measuring cup with a piece of plastic wrap and use it to smooth the dough evenly in the pan.
  6. Cut the dough into wedges and chill: Cut the dough into 12 or 16 wedges. Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and press them gently into the dough. Chill for 30 minutes, until firm, or up to 2 days. (If chilling overnight or longer, cover the pan with plastic wrap.)
  7. Bake the shortbread: Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
  8. Cover loosely with foil and continue to bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the dough feels firm and looks golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. While the shortbread is still warm, carefully cut the wedges again to make sure they're separated. Leave in the pan until completely cool.
You can store shortbread in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before serving, if desired.

Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

*Taken from

Shortbread Crust

1 c unsalted butter softened 226 g
1/3 c sugar 70 g
1/3 c light brown sugar tightly packed 70 g
1 large egg yolk
3/4 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
2-1/4 c all purpose flour 260 g

Peanut Butter layer

2 c creamy peanut butter 476 g
1/2 c butter cut into about 8 pieces 113 g
1 t vanilla
2-1/4 c powdered sugar 260 g
1 T milk 15 ml

Chocolate Ganache

2 c semisweet chocolate chips or good chocolate 340 g
1/2 c heavy cream 120 ml
1/2 t vanilla
sea salt for sprinkling


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line a 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2.  Using mixer, beat butter and sugars until well creamed, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add egg yolk and vanilla and stir well, pausing to scrape down the sides and mixing until ingredients are well-combined.
  4. Add flour gradually (about 1/2 c at a time), pausing to scrape down sides of bowl. Halfway through the addition of the flour, sprinkle in the salt with the beater still running.
  5. Don't over-beat the dough, you want it to be sightly crumbly to make it easier to press into the pan.
  6. Drop dough over prepared pan and gently, evenly, press dough into the bottom of the pan. To make it easier, you can use a piece of wax paper over the dough and use your palm to smooth the surface (and then discard wax paper).
  7. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (watch it -- I had less baking time!) -- edges should be lightly golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool completely before adding peanut butter layer.

Peanut Butter Layer

  1. Combine peanut butter and butter in large heat proof bowl and microwave at 15-second increments (stirring between each) until butter is completely melted.
  2. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Gradually stir in powdered sugar.
  4. Add milk and stir well. Mixture should be firm enough that you can mold pieces into a ball, but not too stiff that you won't be able to spread it over the brownies (feel free to add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if mixture is too stiff, or more powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time if mixture is too soft).
  5. Drop peanut butter mixture by heaping spoonfuls over the cooled brownies and use a knife to gently spread until the shortbread layer is evenly covered with a thick layer.

Chocolate Layer

  1. Combine chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow chocolate to cool for about 15 minutes, and then evenly spread over prepared caramel layer. Wait several minutes and then sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Allow chocolate to harden (I recommend placing in refrigerator for about 30 minutes -- my family prefers these treats refrigerated anyway) before cutting and serving.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies

*Taken from


2/3 c sugar
2 t Meyer lemon zest
1/2 g dried culinary lavender
3/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 t vanilla
1/8 t salt
1-3/4 c flour
1-1/2 T sugar for sprinkling


1 c powdered sugar
1 t Meyer lemon zest
2 T Meyer lemon juice

1.  Combine sugar, lemon zest and lavender in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute until lavender is finely chopped. Beat butter and lemon-lavender sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until combined; add vanilla and salt and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour just until incorporated and dough begins to come together in large pieces. Scrape dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a disk and wrap well. Chill dough in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Roll out dough to slightly less than 1/4" thick on a lightly floured board. Use a floured 2-1/2" fluted biscuit cutter to cut out cookies. Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut until you have 24 cookies. Place cookies on baking sheets and sprinkle with sugar. Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

3.  Bake, rotating pans about halfway through, for 14-15 inutes, until lighty golden and edges are set. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. Trnaser glaze to a small piping bag and drizzle over cookies; let set before serving.


Make ahead: Baked and cooled shortbread cookies can be wrapped well and frozen up to 2 months. To thaw cookies, place on wire racks and let stand at room temperature for one hour before glazing.