It's nothing new, but I've discovered that the best way to deal with stressful, uncertain and trying times is to consume large quantities of baked goods. And actually it's been good for my figure too, I'm developing a very nice Beyonce booty. Unfortunately I haven't found anywhere in town that makes a decent baked good, so I'm left to cook my own. Some are so good I just have to share.
I've been thinking about this dessert from the Jan 09 issue of Bon Appetit for three months (apparently peanut butter is the latest dessert craze). It is amazing. Really, really good. Peanut buttery and jelly-y and buttery and sweet. I'm drooling. It would be fun for so many occasions, there is something sophisticated and childlike about it all at the same time. The recipe employs a unique technique: freezing part of the shortbread until firm and then grating it on top of the jelly. It worked beautifully, but next time I think I'll try just crumbling it by hand on top (then I won't have to wait for it to freeze!)
Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Wedges
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup creamy (smooth) natural peanut butter (made with only peanuts and salt)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup blackberry jam
Transfer 1/3 cup dough to work surface. Shape into 1/2-inch-thick disk, place on plate, and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Press remaining dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread jam over dough in pan, leaving 1/3-inch plain border. Refrigerate while dough disk freezes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using large holes of box grater, grate frozen dough evenly over jam. Bake shortbread until dough edge is deep golden and grated dough on top looks dry and baked through, about 50 minutes. Cool shortbread completely in pan.
Release pan sides. Cut shortbread into wedges. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.