Crunchy and buttery peanut shortbread crust with peanut butter filling topped with dark chocolate ganache
14 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to warm
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts, finely chopped
Peanut Butter Filling
1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use natural - must be emulsified like Jif)
6 tablespoons butter, room temp
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Lindt or Cadbury bittersweet chocolate, chopped (heaping cup)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon heavy cream
Line a cupcake pan (standard size or mini) with liners. (Makes about 18 standard size or 36 mini)
In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, and salt. Stir in the flour and peanuts to make the dough stiff.
Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate the pan for 30 mins or freeze for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is firm.
Meanwhile, position a rack near the center of the oven and pre-heat to 325 degrees. Bake the dough for 15 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake until the crust is light golden brown. Cool thoroughly
(If making the mini version, baking time may be less, so pay attention to dough color, being careful to not over-bake)
Peanut Butter Filling
In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and softened butter and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add half the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and continue to mix. Add the remaining confectioners sugar. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of warm water.
Beat until fluffy, about 1 more minute.
Put the prepared filling into a piping bag. When crusts are fully cooled, pipe the filling onto each cookie cup, distributing evenly. See photo above for example.
Smooth any uneven filling with an offset spatula. Trying to make it as level as possible. Freeze for a few minutes while you make the ganache to allow the peanut butter to set.
Put the chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave the heavy cream until a light boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes, then stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.
Using a spoon, spread the ganache over the peanut butter filling. Tap the pan to make sure the tops are all smooth.
Refrigerate the bars until they are set, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with finishing salt after the chocolate has set but is still slightly tacky.