I've been a little quiet on the blogging front this week. I've been finishing off my final assignment for my last subject ever. Now I just have to finish off the research component of my course and I'll have a piece of paper declaring I have mastered science. Exciting. But scary.
While I've not been blogging, I've still been cooking. The masses always have to be fed, y'know. I've got lots to show you guys.
So now that I have time to take a breather, it's time for another cook book challenge post!
I didn't realise until doing this blog post that I took this weeks book from the wrong end of the pile. Now it's out of order. Ah! My OCD! *flail*
It's no secret that I love baking more than anything else in the kitchen. So a whole book on baking is always welcome. This week's book is Belinda Jeffrey's "Mix and Bake".
There's so many delicious recipes in this book. Some I've baked a hundred times before, others a new take on an old favourites and others I'd never done before.
We already had a cake and a dessert in the house for the weekend, so I decided to hunt for a more nibbly type food to send off with the boyfriend when he went to the footy with his brother and uncle (while I stayed home to study, boo).
These salted peanut butter cookies looked so tempting it was hard to give them a miss.
I've done plenty of peanut butter cookies before, but not salted. They ended up tasting almost exactly like eating salted peanuts, just in a cookie form. I baked one roll of dough and left two 'emergency rolls' in the freezer, though I get the feeling they'll be emerging from my freezer really soon.
If you have a food processor, this recipe is a cake walk. I only have a mini one that's powered by a stick blender, so when it came to adding the flour I just mixed it it. In lieu of either, you could cream the wet ingredients with an electric mixer and then fold in the flour as I did.
Crunchy Peanut Butter and Sea Salt Biscuits
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
180g unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into chunks
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (75 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
110g crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup (50g) salted peanuts
sea salt flakes, for topping
- 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 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 this easier if you tip the dough 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 together, 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 foil. Twist the ends of the foil tightly in opposite directions so you end up with something that looks like a bon bon. Repeat with 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 oven to 150°C. Line some baking trays with baking paper. Unwrap the log (or logs) and cut into slices 6-7mm thick. Sit the rounds, about 2cm apart, on the prepared baking trays. Gently sprinkle a little 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 the touch. If your oven cooks unevenly, turn the trays back to front and swap the shelves half way through the baking time. Remove trays from the oven and leave to cool completely on them. Store in an airtight container for 5-6 days or freeze them for up to 2 weeks, and defrost at room temperature before serving.