This week it is a year since I moved to Australia. I love it here, I love that a sunny 30 degree day is normal, I love living in a big city. Most of the Australians I have met have been wonderful people, and only some of them have made jokes about my kiwi accent.
Next month I’m moving cities, but I am glad I get to have another year here in Australia. Sydney reminds me of my grandmother and that I am actually a quarter Aussie underneath my New Zealand twang. Last Australia day I had just arrived, and didn’t really feel part of the laid back barbeque atmosphere. This year it is time to celebrate being a little bit Aussie, and I think a good way to do that would be with some Australian cookies. Beyond Anzac biscuits and attempting to homemake Tim Tams, I am not sure where to start. Any ideas?
The cookies I have to offer today are conversely Very American. Not quite as American as the similar version that included bacon, but still, there is a lot of everything bad for you in these puppies, and boy can you taste it.
They have a distinctive peanut flavour, but are sweet enough to balance the salt. Chewy in the middle with crunchy edges, they don’t look like much, sometimes I think that’s better though, unassuming awesomeness.
Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
From Orangette, originally adapted from Autumn Martin
2 cups plus 1 tsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
275 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup, packed brown sugar
¾ cup caster sugar
400 grams peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 tsp vanilla extract
170 grams chopped milk chocolate (I usually use dark, but milk is great here)
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line several baking sheets with baking paper.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and whisk well.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (You can do this by hand, if you so wish).
Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat on medium-low speed to blend.
Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the chocolate, and beat briefly on low speed, just until evenly incorporated.
Scoop dessert spoonful’s of the batter onto the baking sheets, taking care to leave plenty of space between cookies ( only 6 or 7 to a tray, they spread)
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and pale golden around the edges, but their tops have no colour. (The cookies will not look fully baked, but they are nice and chewy this way)
Transfer the pan to a rack, and cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan if you are patient enough, I kept reusing the pans so transferred them to a rack after about 5 mins. They will firm up as they cool.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Note: Apparently the dough freezes well, scoop out the dough and freeze on a tray and then cook for an extra 5 mins from frozen. Warning: I suspect these would make irresistible frozen cookie dough snacks, which is why I have avoided freezing any.
Makes about 20 large cookies