I’m nuts about nuts. Full stop. There is nothing better in the world for snacking than a handful of roasted almonds or a spoonful of peanut butter. And what’s more, this “butter” is so easy to make (check out my recipe for homemade Almond Butter), you won’t want to buy store bought jars after you’ve tried it yourself. You simply roast your nuts (if you like that rustic flavour) and whizz them into a paste. 
Now, although us Brits haven’t yet adopted the idea of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there are still endless way to enjoy it: spread on toast and lightly mash a banana on top for a protein hit or stir into porridge in the morning as a substitute for honey. Me, sometimes I just like eating it straight from the jar…
I wanted to take this classic peanut butter cookie recipe up a notch; the brown sugar gives them an almost caramel-ly flavour and the addition of nutmeg spices things up. Even if I like mine plain, crisp and golden that shouldn’t stop you dipping yours into dark chocolate and sprinkling with pulverised peanuts before demolishing them in seconds. There’s nothing like feeling a little bit All-American at the weekend!

1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar, plus more for coating
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
3/4 cup creamy crunchy peanut butter
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and then set aside.
2. Using an electric whisk, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed and beat for approximately 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the vanilla extract and egg. Beat on medium speed until combined for about 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until just combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients all at once and continue to beat on low speed until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins.
4. While the cookie dough chills, preheat the oven to 350 F, 180 C, Gas Mark 4. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. 
5. Place about 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl for coating the dough then spoon cookie dough by the tablespoonful into the palm of your hand. Gently roll into a ball and coat in sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheet and use a fork (which you can dip in flour to avoid sticking) to mark the cookies with a criss-cross pattern. Place the cookies on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
6. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you fancy it, dip into melted dark chocolate once the cookies have cooled and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel and crushed roasted peanuts. 
March 8, 2015



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