Hi everybody, it's Heather from The Beating Hearth and I am so happy it's my turn here at the Cafe, today. We have had such amazing posts from our Guest Posters and our regular contributors lately that I want everyone to know how lucky I feel to be a part of this talented group of women. I feel a bit like Wayne and Garth...not worthy!!
As is probably clear from the title I am giving you a cookie recipe...but not just any cookie recipe. This recipe is seriously good...and not just good, it is so pretty. More and more I am realizing we don't just eat with you mouths. Our eyes take in the beauty of something and it adds to the pleasure of the experience.
The Mister loves anything that has chocolate and peanut butter in it. I love anything that has shortbread in it....what? Butter. Sugar. A touch of flour. What's not to love? My daughters...they love anything with frosting. So this is clearly the dessert for us.
Valentines is approaching and they'd be a great dessert to make that day, but please understand....these aren't just for Valentine's Day...they are for whenever your sweet tooth needs a fix of buttery, chocolaty, peanut buttery goodness. There's a bit of time involved as you have to chill the dough before baking and you have to melt and then chill the frosting but...trust me, put a little effort in and you will be rewarded.
The frosting looks a bit like a chocolate rose sitting there on top of the shortbread and so I thought these would be a perfect Valentine's Day treat.
You can dress them up and present them like you would a box of chocolates and I am thinking they would go over just as well to the recipient.
You can even give your kids a special surprise in their lunchboxes. Take some tissue paper and tie them a sweet bundle of goodness.
And, if the piping bag and tips are beyond you...just go ahead and spread the frosting with a knife. It might not give you that visual punch...but it still gives you all the taste.
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.
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!
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