School's Back ? Bake These Cookies to Soften the Blow

Salted Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies

What can we say but get the kettle on? Cookies are normally soft in the middle, but these are baked through, as we prefer a crunch to our biscuits. They are absolutely delightful served with ice cream or as an ice cream sandwich.

Makes about 60

Ingredients
155g peanuts
2 tbsp demerara sugar
1 tbsp crunchy sea salt flakes
2 vanilla pods
450g softened butter
265g caster sugar
250g demerara sugar
4 eggs
350g crunchy peanut butter
450g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp salt
2 tsp bread soda, sifted
400g chocolate chips

Method
Put the peanuts, the 2 tbsp of demerara and the salt into a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until golden brown all over. Leave to cool.

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Slit the vanilla pods lengthways, scrape out the seeds and put the seeds to one side.

In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream the butter, vanilla seeds and both sugars together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time. Once all is incorporated, add the rest of the ingredients and gently mix until you have a smooth but crunchy dough.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl on to a long sheet of baking paper, then roll to form a sausage shape and chill in the fridge until firm. This will take at least 2 hours, but it's best left overnight.

Preheat your oven to 160?C/fan 140?C/gas 3. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Once the dough is firm, shape into balls weighing roughly 35g each, and place on your lined baking tray. Flatten them a little - remember to leave some space between the biscuits, as they will spread out a bit. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes if you want a soft cookie, or 16-18 minutes for a biscuit with a crunch.

Once baked, place on a cooling rack. Enjoy them warm right away, with a glass of milk, or let them cool and store them in a biscuit tin.

Extracted from Baking School: The Bread Ahead Cookbook by Matthew Jones, Justin Gellatly & Louise Gellatly (Fig Tree, approx €27)

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