Monday, March 17, 2014

salted peanut butter cookies

Do you like peanut butter? Growing up I did not. I was definitely a Vegemite girl. With time I've grown to like peanut butter but it doesn't like me very much so I have to keep my consumption to a bare minimum. That's probably why until a year or two ago, I'd never tasted a peanut butter cookie. I made a batch and I loved them, so last month when I found this recipe for crunchy peanut butter cookies in Belinda Jeffrey's Mix and Bake, I thought I'd give it a go.

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I did make a few adjustments though. I lowered the sugar a little from ⅓ cup to ¼ cup each of caster sugar and the brown sugar. I left the salt out of the dough and used smooth peanut butter because that's all I had in the fridge. I used half the dough and stored the rest in the freezer.


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Last weekend the cookie jar was empty and as a friend was coming over for a cup of tea I used the remaining dough. I rolled the dough into logs as suggested but I actually found it easier to roll out and cut the dough into rounds using a scone cutter. The scone cutter cut through the whole peanuts really cleanly whilst the knife blade kind of dragged through the dough. I only used a tiny sprinkle of salt flakes because I didn't want to over do things.

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Here they are fresh from the oven. They are pretty delicate so one did crumble as I removed it from the baking tray.


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These are absolutely delicious - crisp, a little bit sweet and a little bit salty. They do soften after a few days but I think they'd crisp up a bit if you returned them to the oven for 10 minutes or so.

Here's the original recipe for you.

Crunchy Peanut Butter and Sea Salt Cookies
Adapted from Belinda Jeffery Mix and Bake

Makes 50-60


Ingredients
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
180g unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into chunks

⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
⅓ cup (75g) firmly-packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
110g crunchy peanut butter

⅓ cup (50g) salted peanuts
Sea salt flakes, for topping


Method
Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a food processor and whiz them together for about 10 seconds so they’re well combined. Tip them out into a bowl.

Put the butter and both sugars into the food processor. Whiz them for 40 seconds, stopping and scraping down the sides once or twice with a rubber spatula, until they’re light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and egg and whiz them in for 10 seconds; the mixture may look a bit curdled, but it will be fine once the flour is added. Scrape the peanut butter into the egg mixture and whiz the machine briefly again so it mixes in. Add the flour mixture to the processor and mix it in with on/off pulses, until it just forms a thick soft dough (Don’t overdo the mixing in of the flour or the biscuits will be a tad tough.)

Add the peanuts to the dough and stir them in with a spatula (you might find it easier to do this if you tip the dough out into a bowl and work the nuts in by hand, as it’s always a bit awkward in the processor). Scrape the dough out onto a chopping board and divide it in half.

Lay a large sheet of foil on a bench and cover it with a sheet of baking paper. Gently knead one piece of the dough briefly to bring it together and then roll it into a log about 5 cm in diameter.

Sit the log on one edge of the baking paper and roll it up in the paper. Next, roll it so it’s wrapped in the foil. Twist the ends of the foil tightly in opposite directions so you end up with something that looks like a very long bonbon. Repeat with the remaining dough.

If you’re baking the biscuits on the same day, chill the logs for 2-3 hours in the fridge until they’re firm enough to slice. Or, at this stage, you can freeze the logs until you need them (they keep well in the freezer for about 5 weeks; just defrost them in the fridge before slicing them.)

Preheat your oven to 150°C. Line some baking trays with baking paper. Unwrap the log (or logs) and cut into 6-7 mm-thick slices. Sit the rounds, about 2 cm apart, on the prepared baking trays. Gently sprinkle a little sea salt onto each one; I’d go fairly lightly on the salt the first time you make them, and then when you've tried them once you can adjust the amount.

Bake, in batches if necessary, for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are light golden-brown and feel crisp to touch. If your oven cooks a bit unevenly, turn the trays back to front and swap the shelves halfway through the baking time. Remove the trays from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool completely on them. Store the biscuits in an airtight container, where they will keep well for 5-6 days, or freeze them for up to 2 weeks, and when you want, defrost them at room temperature.


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I've just come home from a weekend in the country. I came home from the Maitland Harvest markets with bags of plums, pears and rhubarb and some Tuscan cabbage and a bag full of crab apples from Farmer Andrew's garden. I've just made a delicious looking plum cake, recipe on the blog next week, and I'm going to try making some crab apple jelly this weekend, something I've not done before. Any tips for me?

I hope you all had a lovely weekends. 


See you all again next week,

Jillian

2 comments:

  1. I love the look of these... all rustic and yummy. Love peanut butter, will try these for sure

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  2. Thanks so much for being such a loyal reader and commenter. It's much appreciated

    ReplyDelete