This is a wickedly decadent little cookie, all crunchy and sweet and salty and sinful. The kind that leaves a few moist, chocolatey crumbs on your lips, and has you craving another when you’re only halfway through your first! The recipe uses brown sugar to give the cookies a chewy yet crunchy texture, and each bite hides a crisp piece of homemade peanut brittle. The brittle recipe is a family favourite that my Nan has made legendary, except she has always used almonds. I decided to switch it up, and the result is a little irresistible; deadly for lovers of peanut butter.
This weekend we have cause to celebrate, with marriage equality having at last been incorporated into the US Constitution. This is a huge, wonderful, hopeful step for America, but also has ramifications for the rest of the world. Here in Australia we are steadily falling behind on issues that should be concerns of social justice and basic human compassion, but have instead become stagnant political arguments. As a country that has historically prided itself on equality, mateship and ‘fair-go’, I find it alarmingly ironic that we still treat so many minority groups with such pretension and prejudice. So let these cookies be little offerings of love, and share them with all the unique and valuable people in your life, taking a moment to celebrate some long-awaited progress and hoping that we see more in the near future.
Top tip; refrigerating cookie dough overnight before baking helps the cookies to spread evenly in the oven, giving higher, rounder, chewier cookies!
Salted Peanut Brittle Cookies with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, plus overnight refrigeration (optional)
- 90 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 200 g caster sugar
- 125 mL water
- 150 g raw unsalted peanuts
- 140 g dark brown sugar
- 75 g raw caster sugar
- 115 g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 175 g plain flour
- 40 g wholemeal plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 140 g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F fan-forced. Roast the peanuts on a lined baking tray for 7 minutes until just golden and aromatic. Set aside. Line a large baking tray with aluminium foil, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Use your fingers to spread the oil, ensuring all the foil is greased.
- Combine the butter, caster sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat to medium high, and bring the toffee to the boil. Boil uncovered for 10-14 minutes, until the toffee turns a golden brown colour. Do not stir, but watch the toffee carefully as it will change colour quickly.
- Once the toffee changes colour, work quickly. Use a wooden spoon to stir the peanuts into the toffee, and spread out into a 1 cm thick slab over the foil. Leave to set. Once cooled, use the handle of a large knife or similar to smash the brittle into small pieces.
- Get started on the cookie dough while the peanut brittle is setting. Beat the raw caster sugar, brown sugar and butter on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, until pale, creamy and thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula every few minutes. The mixture will reach a ‘wet sand’ stage first, but should end up looking like tan-coloured whipped cream.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and beat for another minute to combine.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda and salt. Turn the beater to low speed, and add the dry ingredients to the wet one spoonful at a time until combined. Once incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the peanut brittle and beat again on very low speed for 30 seconds.
- Line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on the trays with about 7 cm/3 inches of space between each cookie. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. If you don’t have time, then bake the cookies straight away. If you refrigerated the cookies, place them on the freshly lined trays before baking.
- Ensure the oven is still at180°C/350°F fan-forced. Bake cookies for 13 minutes from the fridge, or 10 minutes from room temperature. Turn the trays after 8 minutes. Leave the trays to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then place the cookies directly on the wire racks and cool until just warm.
- While the cookies are baking, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave, or in a small heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly while the cookies are cooling. Once the cookies and chocolate are both just warm, use a piping bag or spoon to drizzle each cookie with some chocolate.
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.