When I was a teenager I loved dipping french-fries into the chocolate sauce of a McDonalds sundae. My friends were horrified.
Unbeknownst to me I'd had my first gastronomic epiphany: pairing salty and sweet.
I’ll admit I’m perplexed by the American obsession with a PBJ (sorry, I just am) but a Snickers bar – I’m all for that.
And one of my most loved cupcake creations is a rich chocolate cupcake, dressed in whipped chocolate ganache and sprinkled with sea salt flakes.
So it should come as no surprise that a salty sweet peanut cookie would ring my bell.
How to be a Domestic Goddess is one of my favourite cookbooks to read – I just love the way Nigella writes. Unsurprisingly, she's nominated these cookies as one of her favourites (and most addictive).
They are everything they promise to be – salty and sweet with ta luscious greasiness that only vegetable shortening can give a biscuit.
I do question Nigella’s suggestion of pressing down the cookie batter with a greased glass dipped in brown sugar – I found it messy and inefficient . On the last tray in the oven I used my fingers to flatten them out – the added benefit of working out which cookies had missed out on peanuts so I could sneak them in – so I’ve omitted Nigella’s step in my version of the recipe below (forgive me Nigella!)
As a final flourish and nod to my teenage gourmet epiphany, I’ve drizzled melted chocolate over the top of these cookies. I’ve also heeded Nigella’s advice regarding the addictive nature of these biscuits and have packed them off with Mr Di-licious to share around the office.
Recipe: Salty Sweet Peanut Cookies
Recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson (2001)
Makes about 30
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Scant 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Scant1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2tblsp self-raising flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tblsp (4 ½ oz) salted peanuts
100 -200g Dark chocolate
Small ziplock bag
- Preheat oven to 190°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Stir through the flour til mixed through and then stir in the peanuts.
- Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of batter onto the tray, leaving room for them to spread. Using your fingers, flatten them out (and make sure each cookie has at least a few peanuts in it).
- Bake cookies for 8-10minutes – they should be golden brown.
- Leave on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Break up chocolate into small pieces and place into a tea cup. Gently melt chocolate in microwave using short bursts til chocolate is almost completely melted. Spoon chocolate into the ziplock bag, seal and then snip a small corner off the bag with scissors. Drizzle chocolate over the cookies and allow to set (if you can resist them that long!)