16 July 2014

Nigella Challenge: Sweet & Salty Peanut Biscuits

I can't actually eat these, and to be honest, I'm not tempted - but all reports point to them being delicious. That perfect combination of sweet and salty that's made salted caramel the current food-de-jour that seems to be staying the distance. What is it about that combination? Is it as simple as its ability to satisfy all our "bad" food cravings? Whatever it is, I've jumped wholeheartedly on the bandwagon!

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
Preheat oven 190C. Line 2 large baking sheets.
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).