Makes 8 large wedges or 16 medium-size squares

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11/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter (optional)

2 tablespoons Hawaiian (or other) coarse brown sugar crystals for topping

Semisweet, milk, or white chocolate, melted for dipping

(optional)

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=1. Lightly butter 9-inch round cake pan or 9-by-9-inch square cake pan. (8-by-8-inch will also work). Sift together flour and salt and set aside. Beat butter with sugar. Add peanut butter to butter-sugar mixture until just blended. Fold in flour and salt mixture and blend until the dough just sticks together.

2. Gather dough and press lightly into prepared pan. Flour fingertips and press dough all the way into edges of pan. Prick the top of the dough all over with a fork (spacing pricks a couple of inches apart). Score top of dough neatly with the back side of a knife blade into 8 even pie-shape wedges (if using a 9-inch round pan) or into 16 even squares (if using a 9-by-9-inch square pan). Sprinkle top of dough w/Hawaiian sugar crystals if desired (for added crunch).

3. Bake 30-35 minutes in preheated 300-degree oven until edges of shortbread are lightly browned, or longer if you prefer a crisper shortbread. Cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into scored wedges or squares. You can dip the fan points or corners into melted semisweet, milk, or white chocolate.

Per serving (based on 8, with peanut butter): 307 calories; 5 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams sugar; 20 grams fat; 38 milligrams cholesterol; 228 milligrams sodium; 1 gram dietary fiber.EndText