Peanut butter and white chocolate shortbread cookies.

It’s my birthday (tomorrow)! Exciting news, I know. I’m now 27, which is three years older than my mom is in that picture, which makes me feel fairly unproductive and much less like an adult.

Fortunately, those feelings are easily forgotten by eating cookies, so I made myself some special birthday cookies and then stuffed my face with them. Being a grown-up means that I can have all the cookies I want, which is the best but most often overlooked part of adulthood. And tomorrow we are celebrating my birthday by driving two hours to Hope for pie, and then to a dodgy casino across the border for $1.75 pints and $3.00 blackjack. Adulthood can be kind of awesome if you don’t take it very seriously.

Peanut butter and white chocolate shortbread cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted (if you don’t like white chocolate or simply prefer dark, use the same amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

This is the kind of recipe for which you need to have some sort of electric mixer or food processor. You can do without, I suppose, but that would be an incredible pain in the ass. The thing about shortbread, especially shortbread made with granulated sugars (including brown sugar) is that you literally have to beat the hell out of it. And not for a minute or two either – I’m talking 25 to 30 minutes, so that the sugar rips tiny little tears into the butter before dissolving back into it.

Yes. Now. Cream together the butter, the peanut butter, and the brown sugar. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove. Once melted, pour into the butter-sugar mixture, and continue beating. Beat for 25 to 30 minutes, total.

After what will seem like forever, especially if your mixer needs to have its engine WD40d or something because it howls like it’s been stabbed, add the flour, a bit at a time, until a dough forms. Mix for another three to five minutes, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Divide into two balls. Roll out into two logs, about a foot long each, and an inch and a half in diameter. Cover tightly in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer to firm up, 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Slice each log into about 24 equal pieces, place on a baking sheet about an inch apart, and poke each piece with the prongs of a fork. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, but check occasionally during the last few minutes to ensure the cookies have only just begun to brown. You want them firm and crumbly, but pale.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before eating, and then enjoy with chocolate milk (as much as you want).

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