Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars


250 ml (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
250 ml (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract (optional)
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

125 ml (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter
125 ml (1/2 cup) icing sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
175 ml (3/4 cup) blueberry jam (or grape jelly or strawberry jam for a different flavour)


• In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and egg yolk using an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, blend together flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.

• Divide dough into two equal portions and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze dough for 1 to 4 hours.

• Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line a 3-l (9-by-13-inch) baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.

• Remove dough from freezer. Shred dough using a coarse grater or food processor fitted with a metal shredding blade; return one portion of shredded dough to the freezer.

• Arrange remaining dough in an even layer in the prepared baking dish; lightly pat dough down. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden around edges; let cool for 20 minutes.

• Meanwhile, blend peanut butter with icing sugar and butter until smooth and well combined. Spread peanut butter mixture over shortbread base in an even layer. Drop spoonfuls of jam over peanut butter and gently spread in an even layer.

• Remove remaining dough from freezer and scatter over jam layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is set and lightly golden brown. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely; cut into bars.

Makes 24 bars.