Everybody knows that peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. And we’ve already talked about how the Mars candy bar people aren’t about to make gluten free Twix so if we miss ’em, we’re just going to have to D.I.Y. But what you may not know is just how easy it is to get all the taste and texture of a Twix bar in a neat little cookie. Since we’d already talked about the Classic Twix bar in Classic Snacksand how to make it gluten free, this time we’re going to heaven and back with gluten free peanut butter “Twix” cookies. Wouldn’t they be spectacular on your holiday ? cookie plate or in your holiday cookie gift box ??!
Yes, there are three layers to these tasty cookies. There are! But each layer is as simple as could be. Start with a perfect crispy shortbread round cookie, and follow it with an easy peanut butter filling, then spoon some chocolate on top. Done.
The peanut butter filling magically sets rather quickly, which is quite nice, but if you fall behind in smoothing it out and you need to roll back the clock, just moisten the topping with a wet finger.
The cookie dough couldn’t be simpler, but it’s really best to roll it out right after it’s made. The baked shortbread cookies freeze perfectly well, though, if you’re hoping to get ahead on your holiday baking. Just pop them in a freezer-safe container and freeze. There’s no need to defrost them, even, when you’re ready to add the filling and topping. The finished cookies hold together quite well, too, and can be frozen as assembled. The chocolate topping may “bloom” a bit which affects appearance (you know those white streaks on chocolate sometimes?) but not taste. And by “taste,” I mean crisp buttery shortbread with creamy peanut butter and rich chocolate. You know, everything you love in one little cookie. That’s all. ?
6 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (14 g) virgin coconut oil
Prepare the cookies. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the water, and knead until the dough comes together, using more water by the teaspoon if necessary. Place the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out rounds about 2-inches in diameter from the dough, and place 1 inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. Gather and reroll scraps. Place the baking sheets in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.
Prepare the filling. In a medium-size, heat-safe bowl, place the butter and peanut butter and heat in the microwave in 30-second bursts on high power, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, you can melt the mixture in a small saucepan over low heat.) Add the vanilla, salt and the confectioners’ sugar, mixing to combine after each addition. The filling will be thick. Add milk or cream by the tablespoon, mixing to combine, as necessary to make the filling very thickly pourable. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch open plain piping tip (or just a pastry bag with a similar opening, no tip).
Fill the cookies. Holding the piping tip very close to the top of each cooled cookie, pipe a very flat swirl of filling on top. Smooth the filling into an even layer with a moistened offset spatula. Allow the filling to sit until set (it will be firm to the touch; it only takes a few minutes, so work quickly!).
Prepare the topping and finish the cookies: Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a small, microwave-safe bowl and melt in 45 second bursts at 60% power, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature until it begins to thicken a bit. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of topping on each cookie. Allow the topping to set at room temperature.
Cookies and topping adapted from the recipe for gluten free “Twix” candies (reprinted here) in the book Gluten-Free Classic Snacks. Peanut butter filling from page 110.
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