I’ve become less of a sugar fiend of late. Well, strictly speaking that’s not true – I still eat chocolate cereal for breakfast but I am leaning more towards salty-sweet desserts and baked goods lately. I like chocolate brownies with a salty peanut butter layer in the middle and I add salt to Anzac biscuits (which makes them so moreish!) And I’m now addicted to these. Crunchy, salty, buttery with a hint of vanilla and bits of toasted peanuts, it’s way too easy to binge eat a whole tin of these.
If you want to showcase your inner domestic goddess, keep that second roll of dough in the freezer and pop it in the oven when guests come around for tea. Nothing like the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the house to make people think that you are ever so organised. In actual fact, the dough has never sat in my freezer for more than three days, but you know – it’s an idea.
Although this recipe says it only takes 25 mins prep, remember that the dough needs to chill through before it can be sliced and baked. Warm dough = very sticky and difficult to work with, hard to slice and biscuits that spread out and flatten as they bake. If you’re in a rush though, you could chuck them in the freezer for 45 minutes instead, it’s not the best as it tend to not chill through, but it’s definitely workable.
I’ve posted the recipe as it appears in Belinda’s book, but I like to add a bit (25g) more peanuts to the mixture because it gives the biscuits better texture. The key to these biscuits, as with any shortbread/butter+flour type recipe is to not overwork the dough once the flour has been added. Use the pulse setting on your food processor, and be gentle – just enough to bring the dough together. You can adjust the crunchy-chewy ratio by slicing the biscuits slightly thinner for super crunchy biscuits or thicker for ones that are chewy in the middle.
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour
- ⅛ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 180g butter, cold butter, cut into chunks
- ⅓ cup (75g) white sugar
- ⅓ cup (75g) brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 110g peanut butter (preferably crunchy)
- ⅓ cup (50g) salted roasted peanuts
- sea salt flakes, for topping
- Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a food processor and blitz for about 10 seconds so they’re well combined. Tip out into a bowl.
- Put the butter and both sugars into the food processor. Process for 40 seconds, stopping and scraping down the sides once or twice with a rubber spatula, until the mixtures is light and creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract and egg and pulse to combine; the mixture may look a bit curdled, but it will be fine once the flour is added.
- Scrape the peanut butter into the egg mixture and blitz briefly again so it mixes in. Add the flour mixture to the processor and mix it in with on/off pulses, until it just forms a thick soft dough (don’t overdo the mixing in of the flour or the biscuits will be a tad tough.)
- Add the peanuts to the dough and stir them in with a spatula - either tip the dough out into a bowl and work the nuts in by hand, or just chuck them into the food processor and use the pulse button to ensure they're combined through). Scrape the dough out onto a chopping board and divide it in half.
- Lay a large sheet of foil on a bench and cover it with a sheet of baking paper. Gently knead one piece of the dough briefly to bring it together and ensure the nuts are evenly distributed, then roll it into a log about 5 cm in diameter.
- Sit the log in the middle of the baking paper and roll it up in the paper. Next, roll it so it’s wrapped in the foil. Twist the ends of the foil tightly in opposite directions so you end up with something that looks like a very long bonbon. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- If you’re baking the biscuits on the same day, chill the logs for 2-3 hours in the fridge until they’re firm enough to slice. Or, at this stage, you can freeze the logs until you need them (they keep well in the freezer for about 5 weeks; just defrost them in the fridge before slicing them.)
- Preheat your oven to 150°C. Line some baking trays with baking paper. Unwrap the log and cut into 6-7mm thick slices. Sit the rounds, about 2 cm apart, on the prepared baking trays. Gently sprinkle a little sea salt onto each one; go fairly lightly on the salt the first time you make them, and then when you've tried them once you can adjust the amount.
- Bake, in batches if necessary, for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are light golden brown and feel crisp to touch. If your oven cooks a bit unevenly, turn the trays back to front and swap the shelves halfway through the baking time. Remove the trays from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool completely on them. Store the biscuits in an airtight container, where they will keep well for 5-6 days, or freeze them for up to 2 weeks, and when you want, defrost them at room temperature.