Peanut butter chocolate shortbread bars
Updated: Oct 17, 2021
I think we all know how much I love chocolate by now, but we are about to start the dive into my love for peanut butter. Everything from Reese's to peanut butter toast, I am just about always in the mood for peanut butter. And if chocolate is involved, I'm there in a heartbeat.
For this recipe, I was looking for something that stored easily and stayed fresh for some time, and that came together with minimal ingredients without sacrificing flavor or texture. I'm sure we'll see more to come from this type of flavor combination in the future, and I'm excited to share this one to start. It would make a great homemade gift for a loved one, and it stores well in the fridge, but even better in the freezer.
I love the smooth bite on the top with the chocolate and peanut butter layers, and the crisp crunch of the shortbread - something about the combination just works so well! I updated this recipe and it's even better than before. It comes together in a pinch with no special equipment needed and is an awesome treat to have on hand in the freezer.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut butter filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
3/4 cup peanut butter (I recommend using a PB that doesn't have added oil)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola)
Total time: 2 hours
Prep time: About 20 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Chill and freeze time: 1-2 hours
Quantity: 16 bars
First, make your shortbread base. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Your butter should be soft to the touch at room temperature. If it's not, you can place it into the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften. In a large bowl, combine your stick of butter and both sugars using a spatula or large spoon. Once there are no streaks of just butter, add in your flour and salt. Continue mixing until a dough forms. Note you can use a hand or stand mixer for this step if you'd like.
Line a 9x9 (or 8x8) square pan with parchment paper. Press your shortbread dough into your square pan - it should be fairly thin, so continue to spread your dough until it evenly covers the bottom of your pan and is fairly flat.
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until your shortbread is lightly golden on the top and firm in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (this can be done the night before, or you can place it into the fridge or freezer). Before adding your peanut butter layer, your shortbread should be cool to the touch.
Next, make your peanut butter filling. In a small or medium bowl, mix your peanut butter, melted butter, and powdered sugar until fully combined and smooth. Ensure your shortbread base is cool to the touch, and then spread on your peanut butter mixture. It doesn't need to be perfect, but do your best to make it an even surface. Place your shortbread and peanut butter spread into the freezer to cool.
Meanwhile, make your chocolate topping. Melt your chocolate and butter together. This can be done in the microwave. First, I like to place my chocolate (chopped or chips) into a bowl and into the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, stir, and repeat. Next, add in your two tablespoons of butter cut into pieces. Place back into the microwave for 15 seconds. Remove, stir, and repeat until the chocolate and butter are both melted and mixed together. Finally, add in your tablespoon of vegetable oil and stir until your chocolate mixture is smooth and a bit thinner.
Assemble and finish your bars. Remove your shortbread and peanut butter from the freezer, and pour your chocolate topping over the peanut butter layer. It is best to move quickly in this step to avoid your peanut butter layer from melting and combining with your chocolate - but if that happens, don't stress it will still taste delicious! Use a flat tool like a small offset spatula or even a spoon to smooth the chocolate to cover your peanut butter layer.
Place your pan back into the freezer for about an hour to set. Once completely cooled, remove your finished bars from the pan and cut into 16 pieces. I like to cut first into four large quadrants and then cut each quadrant into four long bars, but you can do squares as well. Enjoy now or store your bars in the freezer in an airtight container and enjoy any time! You can also store them in the fridge for a few days if you'd like but know that they will soften more quickly when removed as compared to storing in the freezer.
Carb and serving info:
Carbs per serving: 23.1
Carbs for full recipe: 370.3
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.