Nigella actually refers to these as her favourite biscuits - i kid you not. She likes them as the bread in an ice-cream sandwich. She also presses the importance of using vegetable shortening (I used copha) to give them lightness, and I certainly agree.
I am harbouring ambitions to make a cashew version of these to explore further their possibilities.
- 75g brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g vegetable shortening, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g self-raising flour
- 125g salted peanuts
In the large bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla. You aren't creaming this, merely combining. You could do this with a wooden spoon, but the mixer makes it far easier (it is much easier to do this next step with a spoon however). Add the flour and nuts, mixing well to combine.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough onto the trays about 5cm apart.
Now this is the most complicated step: oil the bottom of a glass and dip into the extra brown sugar. Press this down on the dough to flatten the tops.
Bake 8-10 mins. Cool on a wire rack (if you can resist the temptation).