Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Squashed Peanut Butter Cookies

I love peanut butter so much. With its super-rich roasted flavour it just seems so naughty, so decadent, so downright indulgent and needless to say I polish off jars and jars of the stuff, be it spread, melted or even eaten straight out of the jar. On the rare occasion I have any to spare I love to try out recipes and although this can occasionally prove a challenging endeavour, when I get it right the results are near irresistible.

With such an wonderfully unmistakable ingredient it's positively child's play to create beautiful sweet treats with the minimum of effort, such as with these cookies. Slightly soft but with a toasty, biscuity and of course nutty flavour they are so called due to being "squashed" part way through baking. They are as fun to make as they are delicious to eat and a perfect little pick me up with a cup of tea or coffee. So my friends, it's time to bake again!

Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking time: Around 15 Mins
55g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
75g Caster Sugar
55g Light Muscovado Sugar
110g Smooth Peanut Butter (Unsweetened, at room temperature)
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/2tbsp Milk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
85g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
100g Dark Chocolate (Finely Chopped)

We begin by preheating the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and lining two large, flat baking sheets with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and both sugars, then mix through the peanut butter. Beat in the egg yolk with the milk and vanilla extract, then sift in the plain flour along with the baking powder. Finally add the chocolate and mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough. Take a little handful of the dough (slightly smaller than a golf ball), then place on one of your baking sheets. Repeat for the rest of the dough, leaving a border around each cookie as they will spread when squashed.

Bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for ten minutes, then remove the trays. You will notice the cookies will have barely spread, so using a fish slice or palette knife squash each one flat. Return the trays to the oven and bake for around five more minutes, until each cookie is a light golden brown and just darkening at the edges.

When you are happy the cookies are baked remove them from the oven. Carefully slide each sheet of paper from the tray onto a wire rack or heatproof surface and leave for 20-30 minutes to firm up, before peeling each from the paper and returning to a wire rack to cool completely. And now the most important part...

...It's time to eat them!

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