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Monday, June 16, 2008

Peanut brittle cookies

Peanut brittle cookies

Starting the apple, dried cranberry, and almond loaf got my baking mojo flowing, so I harnessed that energy to make something else.

I felt like making biscuits and flicked through the Australian Women's Weekly "Bake" (you may have noticed that I have been using it a lot lately!). I came across a recipe for peanut brittle cookies that sounded good.

First I roasted peanuts to make the peanut brittle. I already had the loaf in the oven, so I popped the peanuts in with it. Then I wandered away to do something else, getting distracted and by the time I remembered the peanuts, they had just gotten past the stage of roasted. They weren't burnt, but were very, very close and tasted darker than I would've liked.

Next was the caramel to pour over the peanuts. I was vigilant and stayed at the stove to watch it. It took about 10 minutes for the sugar to deepen and become golden brown – once it started to colour it happened very quickly.

Peanut brittle cookies

After the brittle was made, it was a quick process to get them the cookies into the oven. 12 minutes in the oven resulted in a soft cookie. I found that the peanut brittle melted in the oven which gave it the cookies a cracked kind of appearance – quite attractive, I thought – but it did make me wonder about the worth of making the brittle! I think I would have preferred a firmer cookie with bits of crunchy brittle, but I can't figure out how to do that without the caramel melting. Any ideas?

Peanut brittle cookies

Peanut brittle cookies

From Australian Women's Weekly Bake

Makes 18-24

125g butter, softened
1/4 cup (70g) crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 & 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Peanut Brittle
3/4 cup (100g) roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
2 tablespoons water

Make peanut brittle: Place nuts on a baking paper lined oven tray. Stir the sugar and water in a small frying pan over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved; bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, until golden brown. Pour mixture over nuts; leave until set. Crush coarsely in food processor.

Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.

Beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg in small bowl with electric mixer until combined. Stir in sifted dry ingredients and crushed peanut brittle.

Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls with floured hands. Place about 5cm apart on oven trays; flatten slightly (and top with extra crushed brittle if desired).

Bake cookies for about 12 minutes. Cool on trays.

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