These shortbread cookies are a member of the Empty Tin Club. But don't feel sorry for them. It's actually an honor. Empty Tinners are cookies that are so gobble-worthy that when I send my husband to work with a full tin to share with his office mates, the tin returns home empty--with nary a few crumbs remaining. Believe me, it doesn't always happen--those office folk are brutally honest about what they do and don't like based on the return empty/full ratio of the tin. But these, and my husband even texted me to report, were gone about 45 minutes after he put them out, which may be a new record. So take that under consideration and make these NOW!!!
PB&J--it's a classic for a reason--BECAUSE IT TASTES SO GOOD!!! Now, imagine the finger lickin' yumminess of peanut butter, the sweet tartness of blackberry jam combined with the wonderful mouth appeal of buttery shortbread and you're pretty much right on target with these addictive little triangles.
These are so, so, so good and so easy to make too--you just need a teensy bit of patience because part of the dough has to chill for an hour so that you can grate it on top and get that wonderful bumpy, nubby top layer.
But if you can manage to keep yourself busy (think laundry or paying the bills or even jumping on the treadmill which will offset the cookie guilt you're about to experience) you'll be rewarded with heavenly jammy, peanut buttery triangles that literally melt in your mouth.
You see now why I had to send them off to work with my husband. They're just too good to keep at home. Make me a tin of these for Mother's Day and I'll be a happy camper--I'll also want to kill you because I just can't not eat them and they will totally undo my diet!!
Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam Shortbread
Makes about 14-16 wedges
Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 1 hour chilling time); Bake Time: 50 minutes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 smooth peanut butter (you can use the natural kind if you like)
1/2 cup sugar
Large pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/3 cup good blackberry jam
1. Spray a 9-inch diameter springform pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and peanut butter together in a large bowl on medium-high speed, for about 2 minutes, until completely smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat for another 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add in the flour and turn the mixer to low, beating only until the flour is just blended in.
2. Place about 1/3 of the dough onto a large plate and flatten into a 1/2 inch disk. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour until very hard. Meanwhile, press the remaining dough into bottom only of the prepared pan. Leaving a 1/3 inch border around the edges, spread the jam all over the dough. Place in the refrigerator while the other dough is in the freezer.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the dough from the freezer and the dough in the pan from the refrigerator. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the frozen dough all over the dough in the pan, trying to make sure it gets distributed evenly.
4. Bake the shortbread for about 50 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the grated dough on top looks dry and cooked through. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
5. When cool, release the sides of the pan and cut the shortbread into wedges. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from a 2009 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.