Peanut butter, hazelnut and white chocolate cookies

peanuteHazelnutWhiteChocCookiesUmm – an apology for these! They’re one of the best cookie recipes I’ve ever come up with – the flasvours are a perfect match for each other and the texture of the cookies are spot on – soft and crumbly inside with a little outer crunch. So, make sure you bake them on a non-diet day.

I’ve been playing about with unusual flavour combinations recently, trying to increase my knowledge and expand my recipes. However, this goes back to an ingredients which must have one of the widest-ranging list of compatible flavourings. I think if you use peanut as a base flavour it goes with so many things, whether sweet, savoury, salty, bitter or sour. Think of peanut satay, salted roasted nut mixes, snickers bars, PB and J sammiches that Americans love so much, sour Sichuan recipes – and all the five major tastes are there aren’t they? If you get them raw and unsalted they show their roots (excuse the pun) as legumes, roast or fry them and they become nuttier and deeper flavoured.

Notes

  • Use a peanut butter without palm oil (its cultivation is a major cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest – see the Greenpeace website for information). I used a crunchy peanut butter by Meridian
  • Do use the combination of both brown and white sugars – it does make the cookies that bit nicer and keeps the texture perfect

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Baking trays lined with baking paper or parchment
  • Wire cooling racks
  • Tablespoon measure

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter (at room temperature) – 125g
  • Soft brown sugar or demerara – 120g
  • Granulated white sugar – 45g
  • Plain flour – 200g
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fine salt – a pinch
  • Egg, medium – 1
  • Peanut butter – 3 tablespoons
  • Hazelnuts – 40g
  • White chocolate – 60g

Method

  1. Put the oven on to 170C fan / 180C conventional
  2. Prep the baking trays with the parchment/baking paper (or silicon mat)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together
  4. Add all the dry ingredients except the chocolate and hazelnuts and mix thoroughly
  5. Chop or crush the hazelnuts into halves/large chunky pieces (ie not finely chopped)
  6. Roughly chop the white chocolate as well
  7. Mix the chopped nuts and chocolate into the biscuit mix
  8. Using the tablespoon measure as a uniform guide, scoop out the dough
  9. To get smooth-looking cookies, scoop out the dough from the tablespoon measure and roll the dough into a ball in your palm. Lightly press down the dough ball onto the baking tray
  10. To get crackle-topped cookies, just tap out the dough from the tablespoon measure so it falls straight onto the baking tray – do not handle it
  11. Using the tablespoon measure will make cookies about 6-7 cm in diameter, so make sure you leave enough gaps for the cookies to spread a little
  12. Bake for 12 minutes until they are starting to brown at the edges
  13. Remove from the oven, and let cool on the tray for a few minutes (the biscuits are soft and will tear if you move them too early) before transferring to the wire cooling rack and leaving to cool completely
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