Over the last year with moving house and an op, I have not baked much. When I have it’s been sticking to the old faithfuls recipes that I know off by heart.
Had a look through my first Bake Off Book and found a recipe for Ruth’s Shortcake Biscuits. The recipe includes how to make a salted peanut caramel, I have never attempted this before. The cunning plan here was to make hubby a batch of biscuits that I would not be tempted to eat. I do not like peanuts at all 😦 YUCK
The end result is supposed to be two biscuits with the caramel filling inside. My caramel was a little on the runny side but as it took me three attempts to get this far I went for it. Not sure i would ever make caramel again, it seems way trickier than I would like for a sauce that could be bought fairly easily in a shop!
Anyway here is the recipe in all it’s complicated glory.
Ingredients for the shortcake
- 440g unsalted softened butter
- 220g caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons of good quality crunchy peanut butter
- 680g plain flour
Ingredients for the caramel filling/topping/sauce 🙂
- 300g caster sugar
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- 100g unsalted butter, diced
- 100ml double cream
- 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes – to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts
You can also make a peanut praline to crumble on the top but I chose not to make any more caramel at this point. Feel free to experiment, I felt that this recipe had plenty of sugar going on by this point.
- Cream the butter and sugar together from the shortcake ingredients. Keep going till they are creamy and paler in colour.
- Beat in the peanut butter.
- Add sifted flour and bring together to a soft dough. You may need to get in there with your hands but be warned it is super sticky.
- Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Roll out dough to a thickness of around 5mm, cut out rounds using a 6.5cm cutter. Chill those rounds for another 15 minutes and then bake in batches on lined baking sheets for 10-12 minutes, 180 degrees C. Once they are golden, pull them out and leave to firm up a bit on the baking tray before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile!! Ha ha ha, make the caramel. I really struggled with this as my sugar kept crystallising . The recipe calls for the water and sugar to go into a deep saucepan and then heat gently till sugar dissolves and then bring to boil. Once sugar syrup looks like a caramel colour take off heat add cream and butter taking care as they will splutter, swiftly mix and place back on heat. Mix on gentle heat for a minute or so to make smooth thick caramel sauce. Add the chopped peanuts and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool.
- I found this helpful page on sugar work online which explained some of the science beneath the sticky mess I made. Hey presto third attempt worked. I took it a little over so the caramel is quite dark but I think that takes the edge of the sweetness.
Anyway once you have your component parts and they are cooled you are supposed to sandwich them together. Not sure how my husband is going to manage to take these on a train tomorrow. The cookie is gorgeously short and therefore breaks at the mere suggestion of topping! No idea if these taste any good either, did try them out on the guys that just fixed our windows and they made some Om nom nom type noises so I’m assuming they are good 🙂
Really could have done with Jasmine Poole Photography here today, she always makes my food look really yummy.