I was totally inspired by Carl’s “Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread” at Needs Baked to make these cookie cups in a muffin tin. I followed all of his inspirations and just made one ingredient substitution. Most of my changes are in the construction and appearance; the original recipe is made in a square pan which I adapted to muffin cups. The layered dessert has three components, a shortbread cookie base, a thick layer of peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache to both adhere the filling to the cookie and to top the filling.
The shortbread base can be found at the Needs Baked link above and also at Allrecipes. Here are the steps I used to adapt the recipe to the muffin shape:
- Mix the dough ingredients with a hand mixer until all the butter is well combined and the dough is pliable. Don’t give up when it is just at the crumbly stage.
- Form the dough into a flat square on a piece of plastic wrap and cut into 12 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and place in paper-lined muffin cups.
- Either press the dough down with your fingers or find something in your kitchen that fits the bottom of the cup. I dipped my little cup in sugar before pressing each ball into the cup.
- Bake according to the recipe instructions, then cool while you make the filling and chocolate.
The peanut butter filling comes from Once Upon a Chef’s “Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares.” I followed the filling recipe exactly, using a stand mixer to mix up the stiff dough.
- Like the shortbread, form the peanut butter filling into a flattened square and cut into 12 pieces. This turned out to be too much, because the balls were so large that they didn’t leave any room for the chocolate, so I cut them in half. I’ll tell you about the leftover filling later.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten with your fingers and set atop a thin layer of the ganache (below) on the cookie base. Press it down lightly.
- Cover the filling with more chocolate to cover. Set in the refrigerator to set up.
The ganache comes from the same recipe as the filling. The only change I made was to use full-fat coconut milk (shaken to mix well) instead of cream, because my husband is lactose intolerant. The microwave instructions in the recipe are convenient.
- You’ll save a lot of mess if you put your warm ganache in a squeeze bottle so you can control the amount without a lot of dripping where you don’t want it.
As you can see in these final photos, the layers are a little out of proportion, even though I didn’t use all the peanut butter filling. Here’s what I would do next time:
- I would cut the shortbread recipe to 1/2 or 3/4 of the original, because it is too thick compared with the filling.
- I would make all the filling, hoping to use more of it on top of a thinner cookie base.
- I would double the chocolate, making a thicker “glue” layer and a thicker top layer.
So I had about half the peanut butter filling left over. I rolled it into balls and drizzled them with the remaining chocolate. They won’t last.