Yesterday being Sunday, and a relatively sunny one at that after a Saturday so wet that you got damp even when you stayed inside, we decamped the house to walk the dog a bit. She’d not had a walk the day before, which is pretty rare, due to the dire weather conditions. Anyway, she had a fabulous time, she told me so, and it stored up some smug points which led to a non-guilty afternoon spent on the sofa reading papers and watching stuff.
As usual at some point the life of leisure began to pall and I felt the need to bake something I’d not eat and have to get the boyfriend to courier to his office, the recipients of some of ShitOven’s worst crimes. They are a patient lot.
This time I went with peanut butter cookies. I truly love peanut butter, so much so that I cannot believe there was a time in my life that I did not love it. It’s true, though. How foolish we are when young.
I found a recipe online by the apparent housewive’s favourite, Paul Hollywood, co-host of British Bake-Off. I don’t get the attraction myself, he’s a rude, gel-haired man with an awkward accent, but then what do I know? I fancied KD Lang for years.
His recipe as he wrote it below, with comments about what I decided to do because hey, Paul Hollywood Master Baker, I know better than you!
45g smooth peanut butter
50g butter, softened (in my house, as you know by now, that means grated)
50g caster sugar
45g light brown sugar (I used a little less of each sugar, am not into very sweet things at the moment)
1 egg, beaten (I didn’t beat mine, I chucked it in whole and OMG, Paul Hollywood, IT WAS FINE!)
100g plain flour
10g baking powder (I used 2 teaspoons, level)
1/4 orange worth of zest (I didn’t use, for god’s sake who uses 1/4 of orange for anything?)
50g unsalted peanuts, chopped (I found a packet of unsalted cashews that went out of date in May 2011 and used those instead. They seemed fine).
Basically this recipe is a pain in the arse if you don’t have scales or a cup measurer that also includes weights. Also, it’s unfriendly. Why 45g instead of 50g? 10g of baking powder? What’s wrong with just saying 2 teaspoons, man?
Unnecessary. This is why I didn’t like the recipe. Arse of it is the biscuits came out quite tasty.
There’s no way I am going to weigh out 45g of peanut butter because I’m dumb but not that dumb. I put in this much (a heaped dessertspoon) and then a bit more for good measure.
Combine the peanut butter, sugars and butter till blended nicely. PAUL HOLLYWOOD says this’ll take 4 minutes. Bugger that for a joke.
Mine looked like this after about 2 minutes and I decreed that it was fine.
Add your egg, beaten or not depending on how obedient you are.
Then mix in the flours and chopped nuts. I used my handbeater (electric of course) for this, all the way through. The dough was mixed when it flew off the beaters in a comic fashion, coating the kitchen bench nicely.
Voila. Done mixed it up right.
PAUL HOLLYWOOD says you then have to divide the mixture up into 20 equal sized pieces? WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT? Just tell me to take a teaspoon-sized chunk and roll it, place on a greased and lined baking tray and press down lightly with a fork.
God. I’m getting the Hollywood Rage all over again and I thought I had it bad yesterday.
Into a pre-heated moderate oven (180C/Gas Mark 4) for about 10-12 minutes. PAUL HOLLYWOOD says to cook them for 20-25 but he’s truly insane. Unless, of course, you’re after rock-hard lumps of peanut flavoured brick, in which case go for it.
A nice shot of Chiswick House I took. Then Instagrammed. It was lovely.
Anyway take your biscuits out when done (I had to rotate mine every 2 minutes because ShitOven delivers the same temperature if the setting is at Gas Mark 1 as at Gas Mark 7) and let them sit for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
They’re nice, these. Not too sweet but properly peanutty. And might I recommend out-of-date cashews? Came out a treat!