It’s been a long, long time since I’ve made peanut cookies. So much so I had forgotten just how fabulous they can truly be. For too long I’ve overlooked using peanuts in my baking in favour of rather more sophisticated almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans and macadamia. Not surprisingly, it’s high time I redressed the situation. Easy to do given there is always a foil sealed packet of peanuts in my pantry – ready to be transformed at a moments notice into a spicy satay sauce or used to add all important crunch and texture to a pad thai, massaman curry or asian slaw.
With just a hint of cocoa and a lingering salty hit, these peanut cookies are crisp on the outside yet soft and chewy in the centre. My idea of cookie nirvana. Truth be told at one point I did consider throwing in a handful or two of dark chocolate chunks into the mix, but at the end of the day I’m glad I didn’t. Peanuts, chocolate and salt are indisputably a marriage made in heaven, but at the end of the day this version is all about allowing the mellow toasty flavour of roasted peanuts to come shining through. And it truly does… in spades.
Salted Peanut Cookies
Makes 24 large cookies
250 g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 heaped tablespoon Dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
PREHEAT oven to 180C and line 2 or 3 baking trays with baking paper.
CREAM butter and sugars until light and fluffy
ADD eggs and vanilla and beat again until well incorporated
SIFT flour and cocoa into the bowl and mix lightly.
STIR in peanuts.
DROP tablespoons of mixture about 5 cm apart onto the baking trays, flatten slightly. Alternatively you can shape the dough into a log, wrap in cling film and freeze for about 15 minutes before slicing into 1 cm rounds and placing on trays for baking.
BAKE for 10-12 minutes until pale golden.
COOL on the trays for 2-3 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.