Shortbread is another "Christmas Thing" in the Southern In-Law house, just like I mentioned how gingerbread was in my Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes post. It's something we've always made and over the years, we've experimented with different recipes - gluten free shortbread, cornflour shortbread, rice flour shortbread, wholewheat shortbread.
This year, I wanted to try something different altogether - was it possible to lighten up shortbread and was it possible to add one of our favourite flavours, peanut butter? Well you bet your bottom dollar it is possible!
I wasn't sure if these Healthy Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies would be a hit - but they were gobbled up before my eyes and even SIL Mama loved them! (she didn't even think they needed more sugar!).
They're crumbly like good shortbread should be, melt in your mouth and have a delicious peanut butter flavour. They're a little bit decadent, but these Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies would definitely be on the nice list.
Jesse tried the first cookie half asleep (he was having a nap before heading out to do some night work) and at first, I thought they were a big fail - but a few minutes later I got a text message.... "Those cookies are GOOD! Make sure you save me some!!". When my Mum tasted them, I was shocked when I saw her take a second just a short while later - and then she had one for dessert. If she likes them, they've got to be good - and just like Jesse, I am loving them!
But let's get onto that recipe, shall we?
The Nice List's Healthier Peanut Butter Shortbread makes 14 bars/28 cookies
2 1/3 cups Orgran gluten free plain flour/plain flour*
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup peanut butter**
5 tbsp (70g) butter
1/4 cup (50g) cane sugar/brown sugar or more if you like things sweet***
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100g) plain greek yogurt (we used Chobani)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 135°C/275°F
Line a rectangular baking pan (we used a 12x7" pan) with baking paper
In a mixer, beat together your sugar and butter until fluffy and add in your yogurt, peanut butter and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
Mix through your flour and salt, mixing until everything starts to come together.
Your dough will be quite crumbly and try, so press it into the pan using your fingertips or a spatula or back of a spoon (it will be easier if you wet your fingertips/utensil to press everything down.
Once your dough is spread evenly in your pan, cut the dough into bars of squares (we used a dough scraper as it was easiest to use).
Once all of your pieces have been cut in the tray****, place your baking pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until your shortbread starts to lightly brown.
Leave to cool before removing from the pan.
*You can use a mix of plain flour and wholewheat/buckwheat flour - we found the best mix was a little bit of a skewed half and half (either 1 1/3 cups gluten free plain flour/plain flour and 1 cup buckwheat/wholewheat flour)
**Use your favourite peanut butter. We used a thick crunchy peanut butter, however, you can use whatever you like best!
***If you like your baked goods on the sweeter side, you can increase the sugar to suit your tastes. I'd suggest increasing it to about 1/2 cup
****The reason we cut these in the tray is because it makes it easier and less messy later on - it also keeps your edges from browning up too much and gives you a melt in your mouth delicious cookie!
But tell me, do you have any Christmas food traditions?