Shortbread and Peanut Butter and Jelly

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

There are few foods more classic than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies. I'm thinking THAT must be the reason I enjoy the two so much. Now, I make cookies all the time, but I had never made shortbread before last night. In fact, I had never enjoyed a piece of the unleavened cookie-eqsue dessert before last night either! According to Wikipedia, what classifies a cookie as shortbread is the ratio of ingredients: one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.

I found a variation of the following recipe in an old "name-brand" cookie cookbook. What appealed to me was how few ingredients are needed. You'll notice that, though this recipe doesn't abide by the true ratios, you don't need eggs, baking powder, baking soda, milk, etc. Also, this shortbread comes together in a snap . . . and I think it would travel well (if you ever send cookies to friends in the mail).


What you'll need . . .
  • 1/2 cup butter (we used Earth Balance as a substitute -- the non-soy kind)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (Sunspire)

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Set aside a 8 inch by 8 inch square baking pan. We used a glass one.
  2. Cream together your butter (or substitute) and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. About 5 minutes on high with the paddle attachment should work just fine.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flours and stir until well moistened. The mixture will be super crumbly.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips and stir. Again, the mixture is crumbly -- but that's how it's supposed to be.
  6. Pour mixture into your UN-greased pan and press until flat and evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.
  8. Let cool before cutting into squares and/or rectangles.
Back to the peanut butter and jelly for a moment.

Yesterday when I went to make my customary lunchtime favorite, I realized we were out of jelly! Of course, apples and peanut butter on a wrap would suffice, but I had a better idea: Add bananas! But I didn't want to chunk up the sandwich much more than it was already, well, chunked.

So, I mashed up half a banana with a little maple syrup. It was delicious! I'm even having it yet again for lunch today. We got a question from Hillary about the "best" way to fold a PB&J wrap in our inbox, so we thought a couple pictures would help illustrate how we do it:

What did YOU pack for lunch today? Or do you usually dine out for your mid-day meal? Let us know -- just leave a comment or email us at! I've been making a huge effort to brown bag it lately. So far, so good!

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