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FC shortbread cookie bars - help pls

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Last night I made the peanut butter and chocolate shortbread bars from Dec's Fine Cooking. I followed the recipe to a "t" and the results were very disappointing. The cookie layer seemed greasy and tough, the peanut layer was fabulous and the chocolate layer somehow not sweet enough. I would venture to say I found them bland, which seems very strange considering the 3 distinct layers!

I was surprised that the recipe called for melted butter (I did cool to "just warm") as most other shortbread recipes I've encountered use softened butter. I cooked until golden brown, maybe too brown? I used Hershey's new bittersweet chocolate for the topping, maybe semisweet would have been better?

Any thoughts? Any bar cookie baking suggestions?

Last week I ruined some toffee bars from Silver Pallett by using 1/2 bread flour (didn't look at package until mixed in!) so it's been a bad baking streak...

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  1. I tried the turtle bars from the same issue and the chocolate sauce that was meant to drizzle on top to form a criss cross pattern was so thin it ended up just being a thin chocolate layer on top. Waddup w that??

    1. Eriberri, I would definitely go with the softened butter instead of a fully liquid product for a shortbread.

      Semisweet Hershey chips or bittersweet of a Ghirardelli might be a good idea.

      1. I have had great, tender, non-greasy results using melted, uncooled butter in shortbread dough--so not entirely convinced that's your problem. Toughness might be from overmixing once you add the flour? It should be mixed in last, with a light hand.

        As for chocolate--semi-sweet is sweeter than bittersweet.

        Better luck next time!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bdinah

          I did mix the flour in last, I tried to be as gentle as possible...now I'm thinking I may have overcooked. I know shortbread-type cookies get better with age so I will try again tonight. Would definitely use semi-sweet next time..