Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

vanilla shortbread peanut butter chocolate frosting
Tis the season to start thinking about holiday cookies.  So, I am kicking off my holiday baking series today.  Get ready for two delicious treats a week that you can use to knock the socks off of anyone who tries them.  They are fool proof, decadent, fun and delicious.  Once Thanksgiving is over, check back every Monday and Wednesday until Christmas for a seriously yummy recipe to try.  Today's is a little preview of the goodness to come.

My sister and I throw a cookie party every year in December.  We encourage our friends to be inventive.  Try something new.  Wow us with their cookie prowess.  If you have a cookie party to go to, or just want to impress your friends and family with a heavenly treat, these shortbread cookies are for you.  The shortbread is buttery and crisp.  The chocolate peanut butter frosting rich and creamy.  The perfect holiday cookie.  I originally posted this recipe over at the Inspiration Cafe.  Click here to read the original post.

You eat with your mouth and eyes when it comes to this cookie.  They are visually impressive and get the mouth salivating for a nibble.  Once you've had a bite, you are overcome. 

These cookies can be made in advance.  The cookie part, anyway.  There is nothing I love more for a party than something that takes me less time than something else, but is still amazing.  The Mister loves anything that has chocolate and peanut butter in it.  I love anything that has shortbread in it.  My daughters love cookies and frosting.  This is clearly the perfect cookie for my family.

The dough needs to be chilled.  This is why it can be made in advance.  So, if you want to whip up a batch, spur of the moment, keep this in mind.  You will have to allocate enough time for chilling of the dough, cooking of the cookies, cooling of the cookies and the making of the frosting.  It's worth it.

When frosted, they look a bit like a chocolate rose.  Experiment with different tips, you may just be pleasantly surprised.

If you feel like giving them as a present, dress them up in cupcake wrappers and a pretty box.  A little tissue paper goes a long way towards classing something up.  Cellophane is a fun way to make something fancy, as well.

And, if the piping bag and tips are too much to comprehend, just spread some of this glorious frosting on with a knife.  It might not have that visual impact of the chocolate roses, but they'll taste just as sweet....and you can lick the knife after.

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
**makes 30 cookies**

Vanilla Shortbread Ingredients
1 Cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 large egg yolks
Splash of Vanilla
2 Cups flour

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Cream butter and sugar in mixer until light and fluffy with paddle attachment.  You will notice the color gets lighter.  Add in the yolks, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.  Add a splash of vanilla...maybe 1 tsp. and mix well.  Add flour and blend until just combined.  It will look very crumbly, a lot like pie dough.  This is what you want.

Split the dough into two batches and place on plastic wrap.  You are going to compress these crumbles into a cohesive dough by pressing the plastic wrap around the dough and squeezing until it is a nice cylindrical shape and the dough is firmly compacted.  My dough was shaped more oblong, do what you like.

Place dough in freezer for 30 minutes.

Once chilled, remove dough and cut into approximately 1/4" slices.  Use a nice sharp knife for this.  Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spaced about an inch apart.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.  You do not want your shortbread to brown in any way, really.  You want it to be light blonde in color.

Place cookies on rack and let them cool completely.

Frosting time!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbl. Creamy Peanut Butter
1.5 Tbl. softened butter

If you have a double boiler, you can use it.  Or just be like me and get a pot of simmering water going, then put a glass bowl large enough to fit on top of it. 

Finely chop your chocolate.  I used a large block of Callebaut chocolate, you can also use nice quality semi-sweet chocolate chips.  If you're using the block, I find a serrated knife is the best way to chop it.

Place your chocolate, peanut butter and butter in the bowl and then put the bowl on top of the simmering pot.  Let it melt.  Stir until nice and smooth.  Once completely melted, you need to let the frosting cool.  I put mine in the fridge and stirred it every few minutes.  This is where you need to pay attention if you're going to pipe it...As soon as it has thickened to frosting consistency, you need to get it in your piping bag and get to work FAST!  It will get too thick to pipe in just a few minutes.

The frosting tip I used is an Ateco 16.  It's how you get the petal appearance in your frosting.  Fold down the edges of your piping bag so you don't make a huge mess, dollop your frosting in. Unfold the bag, twist it tightly and get to decorating the cookies. I start in the middle of the cookie and make concentric circles around and around until you get the look you want.

Let sit.  The frosting will solidify a bit more.  It won't get rock hard, but it is solid enough that if you want to wrap the cookies up and place them in decorative tins, they'll be just fine and won't lose their good looks.

Also, this amount of frosting was just enough to frost this one batch of cookies...and that's probably only because I broke a couple of my cookies.  It might be wise to make a double batch of frosting.  The frosting is so good, you'll find ways to use what's left.

This is the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate and it marries so nicely with the vanilla shortbread cookie.  Just wonderful!  Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for reading!



  1. The smile at the end of this post pretty much says it all. :)

    I love that you have pink pans!

  2. I agree with your reader above … The smile at the end says it all sister !!! I am going to print this recipe and try and make these. They look YUMMO

  3. First I love the new profile picture. You have gorgeous eyes. Second these cookies look delicious. I shamefully do not bake much. I'm thinking this year I need to start. You've inspired me.

  4. I think I will add this to my baking list. They look like they are 100 percent kid approved!

  5. Hi Heather,
    Oh these look so delish! You should enter them in the Today Show's cookie contest. I *think* there's a shortbread category. What I like about this recipe is the short ingredients list. Bravo!
    Also, you look beautiful in the dark hair :) Thanks for sharing, the cookies and yourself!

  6. These were awesome! Hurray for a cookie extravaganza!

  7. that peanut butter/choc frosting was seriously so delicious, yummo!

  8. I may have not mentioned that the chocolate and peanut butter combo is my all time favorite. These look amazing. I love the idea that you make the dough and then have to chill it because you can do it over several days ~ great for the busy wife or mom, right!!


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