BLACK AND YELLOW SHORTBREAD
I've been wanting to make a cookie like this for a while because peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combos (a sentiment that I think a lot of other people share). These are crumbly peanut butter shortbread half-dipped in dark chocolate and finished with flakey sea salt. What's not to like?
Total time: 3 hours
Active time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes per tray (2 trays total)
Makes about 20 cookies
2+1/4 cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/2 cup shelled, roasted peanuts
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural, but you can use whatever)
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
12 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
Flakey sea salt for sprinkling
1.) Begin by preheating the oven to 325° F and lining 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking pads or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar and stir together using a rubber spatula.
2.) On one of the baking sheets, toast the whole peanuts for about 5-6 minutes or until lightly toasted. You can turn off the oven at this point. Allow the peanuts to cool for about five minutes, and then chop into small pieces no bigger than a mini chocolate chip would be.
3.) Add peanut butter into the bowl and use your spatula to gently distribute into the dry ingredients. The peanut butter will not yet be incorporated, just distributed in dry clumps throughout. Remove your butter from the fridge and, using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients, pausing a few times throughout to fold the butter in so that it doesn't stick together in a mountain on top of the bowl. Once all the butter has been added and coated in the dry ingredients, use your hands to work the butter evenly into the dry ingredients for about 2 minutes. If you find pockets of butter, use your thumbs to press them or rub them between your hands to crumble them apart. Do this until no chunks of butter remain and all dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be crumbly and should hold together if you squeeze a handful of it.
4.) Toss in the chopped peanuts and use your hands to distribute throughout the dough. Transfer the bowl of crumbly dough the fridge for 10 minutes. In the meantime, flour a flat work surface and lightly flour a rolling pin.
5.) Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and use your hands to press it into a mound in the center of your floured work surface. It's okay if the dough is a bit crumbly. Lightly flour the top of your dough mound and use your rolling pin to roll your dough evenly into a circle about 1/3"-high. It's okay if it splits on the edges as you're doing this.
6.) Now dip a round biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or drinking glass roughly 2-2+1/4" inches across in flour, and use it to cut out as many circles as you can in your dough surface. I like to aim for about 14 in the first pass. Pull away the scraps and use a thin spatula to gently lift the circles onto your prepared baking sheets (which you totally took care of in advance like the recipe said), 10 cookies to a sheet. Clump the scraps together in a ball with your hands and squeeze lightly to re-adhere. Reflour your work surface and repeat, rolling the mound out 1/3" high and cutting out more circles until you've hit 20 and lined both sheets. After the second roll-out, don't re-roll the scraps. They'll start to get a little overworked at this point. Transfer the cookies to the fridge for 1 hour. This is critical to get the butter cold before they go in the oven, so they end up crumbly and solid instead of melted and messy. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 325° F again.
7.) After an hour, bake the shortbreads one tray at a time for 15-20 minutes or until they're lightly golden around the edges but still pale across the tops.
Allow to cool on the tray for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 45 minutes. In the meantime, we'll get the chocolate ready for dipping.
8.) Place a medium saucepan over a low heat with 2-3 inches of water. Put 8 ounces of the chopped chocolate in a medium metal or glass mixing bowl over and set it on top of the saucepan. After a few minutes, the water should begin steaming, which will heat the bowl up, allowing the chocolate to gradually melt. If the water begins boiling, turn down the heat to bring it back to a simmer. Use a rubber spatula to continuously stir the chocolate until all the chunks of chocolate have melted. Once fully melted, use oven mitts to carefully remove the bowl from the heat (we don't want steam burns!). Immediately add the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate to the bowl, and stir in with a spatula until fully melted. This will partially temper the chocolate, so that it sets a bit after we dip the cookies in it.
9.) Transfer the chocolate to a small bowl or a glass, so that it's deep enough to easily dip into. With a parchment lined cookie sheet prepared, dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, and allow some of the excess chocolate to dip off before transferring to the sheet. Sprinkle each chocolate half with flakey sea salt and place the cookies in the fridge for about 45 minutes, which will permanently stiffen up the chocolate. Remove from the fridge, allow to come back up to temperature for about 10 minutes, and enjoy the crumbly, savory, gorgeous shortbread you've made. Store extras in tin foil.