Go to main content

Published on:

Updated on:

Lower-Carb Peanut Butter Shortbread

Author(s)

This peanut butter shortbread recipe, from the new diabetes-focused cookbook “For Good Measure,” contains only 14 grams of total carbs per serving.

In 2016, Jennifer Shun’s daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. Family time, which revolved around meals in the kitchen, dramatically changed with her daughter’s new dietary needs. When Shun went in search of recipes that could be enjoyed by her carb-conscious daughter, she came up short, so she started a food blog, For Good Measure. The focus: seasonally driven recipes that didn’t feel restrictive yet could still be enjoyed by anyone watching their blood sugars.

Now Shun is sharing her story in her first cookbook, “For Good Measure: A Diabetic Cookbook,” which offeres more than 80 flavorful, layered, and naturally lower-carb recipes with no ingredient swaps or artificial sweeteners.

When asked about which recipe was a top house favorite in the book, the author had an immediate response: her peanut butter shortbread, which is composed of a layer of crumbly shortbread, a layer of creamy peanut butter, and a coating of decadent dark chocolate.

To keep the sweetener – less than 2 tablespoons of maple syrup for the entire recipe – minimal, Shun credits the natural flavors of both peanut butter and chocolate. “Peanut butter naturally is really sweet, and it gives the palate the illusion of something way sweeter than it actually is,” she said. “And I think dark chocolate is a miracle. When your palate is looking for something to end a meal, it kind of satisfies that with a dark back note.”

The shortbread itself replaces traditional white flour with almond and coconut flour for less of a blood sugar spike. But she admits even she can’t keep them around the house.

“I actually try not to make those too often,” Shun said, laughing, “because I never even get one.”

Recipe Details: Peanut Butter Shortbread

Adapted from “For Good Measure: A Diabetic Cookbook” by Jennifer Shun

For Good Measure: A Diabetic Cookbook

Makes: 16 servings

Total carbohydrates: 14 grams per serving

Recipe Note

These “should come with a warning sign, they are that good,” Shun writes in the recipe headnote for this chocolate shortbread, adding: “While these treats can be served at room temperature, I think they are best chilled.”

She also cautions bakers not to skip the step of freezing the chocolate, writing: “Quick setting the melted chocolate in the freezer is an important step to ensure beautiful, crisp edges.”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 g) almond flour

  • 1/2 cup (56 g) coconut flour

  • 1/3 cup (76 g) butter, room temperature

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (280 g) peanut butter, warmed

  • 3 cups (710 ml) water

  • 6 ounces (170 g) 85% dark chocolate, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon espresso

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment.

  2. Using a processor, add almond flour, coconut flour, butter, maple syrup, vanilla and salt, pulsing until dough forms. Transfer dough to prepared pan.

  3. Press into a crust, until dough forms an even layer to the edges.

  4. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

  5. Spread peanut butter in a thin layer over warm crust. Set aside.

  6. Over medium heat, warm a large saucepan. Add water and simmer. Fit a small glass bowl inside saucepan, creating a double boiler.

  7. Decrease heat, ensuring water does not splash into the bowl. Add chocolate, coconut oil and espresso to bowl, stirring occasionally, until melted and combined.

  8. Pour melted chocolate mixture over peanut butter layer, spreading, until evenly distributed. Freeze for 5 minutes. Top with sea salt, returning to freezer for 15 minutes until set.

  9. Using the parchment, remove shortbread from baking pan.

  10. Slice shortbread into 16 squares. Serve or store refrigerated.

Nutritional information per 1-bar serving: 255 calories, 21 g total fat, 14 g total carbohydrates, 10 g net carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 6 g protein.

Excerpted from the book For Good Measure: A Diabetic Cookbook: Over 80 Healthy, Flavorful Recipes to Balance Blood Sugar by Jennifer Shun. Copyright © 2023 by Jennifer Shun. Reprinted with permission of Mango Publishing Group. All rights reserved.