These little bites have buttery shortbread crust, a smooth cookie butter center, and a cookie butter chocolate ganache topping. They're almost like a candy bar, or a cross between a cookie and a square. Plus, let's not forget that they are cookie..filled with a butter made from cookies.
Much to my delight, I recently found cookie butter at a Superstore by my house. I know it's been around for years in the USA so maybe it's old news to Americans, but for this Canadian it was a very exciting discovery. I showed it to the cashier all 'LOOK WHAT I FOUND' and she seemed confused, "What is that? Peanut butter?"
Sorry cashier, no time to explain. I have to run home and grab my spoon.
But I didn't buy cookie butter so that I could sit around eating it with a spoon. I mean, I did do exactly that, but my real plan was to use it to make cookies. It's like completing the cookie circle of life: cookies --> turned into butter ---> turned back into cookies. The cycle ends up creating cookie flavored cookies..very meta.
Putting them together is quick and painless (as cookie baking should be) . The crust is made out of shortbread so no rolling or even spooning out the dough. Just mix it all up and dump it into a parchment lined baking tray. For this batch I used Stirling's Churn84 butter because I like the texture the extra butterfat gives the shortbread. It makes the edges and crust buttery and crispy.
The crust needs to cool before the cookie butter is added. Luckily, I was testing this recipe while we were experiencing a wicked cold snap. Place the pan outside 5 - 10 minutes and bam! Instantly cooled.
Next comes the cookie butter, lovely lovely cookie butter. It's thick enough to hold it's own as a layer in the cookie bites. No need to mix in icing sugar because its already smooth and creamy without being gooey.
The very last layer is made out of chocolate melted with cookie butter. It sets semi-firm and fudgey: solid enough to pick up the pieces without messy fingers, but soft enough to bite into without squishing out the cookie butter layer.
..and then into little bite sized pieces. Each bite has buttery, crunchy shortbread, creamy cookie butter, and fudgey chocolate. Mmm cookie flavored cookies.
Cookie Butter Shortbread Bites
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup Stirling Churn84 butter
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cookie butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cookie butter
1. Preheat the oven to 325 and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment. Allow some parchment to hang over the edges to make the bars easier to remove
2. Stir together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy. Stir in the butter until a soft dough forms
3. Press the shortbread dough into the bottom of the parchment paper lined pan. Chill in the freezer until firm, then use a fork to prick holes all over the dough. Bake at 325 for 15 - 18 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.
4. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack (or outside). Once cool, spread the 3/4 cup of cookie butter in an even layer on top of the shortbread. Place in the fridge or freezer to chill while you make the topping
5. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and cookie butter together. Stir every 30 seconds or so until the topping is melted and smooth. Allow the topping to cool until it is barely warm, but still pourable. Then pour it over the chilled bars and use a spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Allow the bars to set at room temperature.
6. Pull the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut into strips, and then bite sized pieces. Store in an airtight tupperware container.
Full Disclosure: Stirling sent me some butter, but I bake with it because I legitimately enjoy the product and find the quality makes a difference. Nobody sent me cookie butter and I did not receive any payment for writing this post.