a flaky & tender almond butter shortbread that is delicious enough to be enjoyed on their own, but also subtle & versatile enough to be finished with either a dunk of dark chocolate & sprinkle of fleur de sel or sandwiched around a sweet almond butter buttercream (or both!)
(recipe below yields 24-30 shortbread cookies, or 12-15 shortbread sandwiches)
for the almond butter shortbread
- 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 c + 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 c + 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
for the almond butter buttercream for shortbread sandwich cookies (optional)
- 1/3 c almond butter
- 1/4 c butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
for a chocolate dip (optional)
- 1/2 c dark chocolate melting wafers or chips
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- pinch of kosher salt
- fleur de sel, for sprinkling (optional, can also use a fine sea salt)
for the shortbread dough
- in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the almond butter & butter on medium for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. the two butters should come together & get light & airy.
- add sugar, vanilla, & pinch of salt to the bowl & cream together for another 2-3 minutes, until fully combined & light & airy.
- in 3 batches, add flour & mix until just combined.
- form the dough into a ball onto a lightly floured countertop & use your hands to gently roll it into a log shape. the dough may be a little crumbly (this is a great thing – it means your shortbread will have that tender & delicate texture you’re looking for!), so don’t be afraid to press the dough together as needed.
- transfer shortbread log into a zip top bag & place in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow it to firm up.
bake the shortbread
- preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- after dough has rested in the freezer for about ten minutes, remove from freezer & slice into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch slices. 1/3-inch slices are great if you plan to eat the cookies on their own & the 1/4-inch slices are great for shortbread sandwich cookies. whichever way you go, just be sure to take your time & get consistent slices to ensure even baking time.
- place shortbreads on a parchment-lined baking sheet & bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the shortbread just begin to turn golden brown. (if your oven has hot spots, you can facilitate even baking by rotating your pans halfway through).
make the almond butter buttercream (optional, only if you’re planning to make sandwich cookies!)
- in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the almond butter & butter on medium-high for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. the two butters should come together & get very light & airy.
- add vanilla & salt to the bowl & cream together for another minute, until fully combined.
- in 3 batches, add sugar & mix until just combined.
- transfer into a piping bag with a round tip.
melt the dark chocolate (optional, only if you’re planning to make chocolate-dipped cookies!)
- heat the dark chocolate & coconut oil in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until chocolate is glossy & melted. set aside
after cookies cool, assemble your shortbread
chocolate-dipped almond butter shortbread with fleur de sel
- dip cookies into dark chocolate & sprinkle chocolate with a pinch of fleur de sel. set chocolate-dipped cookie down on a wire rack or a wax paper-lined baking sheet to allow chocolate to harden.
almond butter shortbread cookies with almond butter buttercream
- arrange cookies on a baking sheet so they are near a cookie with a similar shape & size, which will help make sandwich cookies that are consistent & easy to eat.
- pipe about 1 tbsp of buttercream onto the bottom of one cookie, & press the bottom of another cookie down onto the almond butter to form a sandwich.
- optional, but encouraged, dip your almond butter shortbread sandwiches in dark chocolate & sprinkle with fleur de sel (per the steps above). if you go this route (you totally should), you may wish to pop your shortbread sandwiches in the freezer for 5 minutes prior to dipping them in to allow the buttercream to firm up a bit so it doesn’t melt into the dark chocolate.