This is a recipe my Gran used to make and I have many memories of greatly enjoying them as a child. Once she shared the recipe, I started making them myself and to this day, many years later, people always exclaim how delicious they are. They are also very simple and quick to put together and bake, so perfect for last-minute guests or an emergency hostess gift.
I’m afraid I can’t claim they are very healthy although we might be able to justify some protein in the peanut butter. I sometimes attempt to make them slightly more so by using stone-ground wholewheat flour instead of white. One day I might try using honey instead of sugar, although that will completely change the texture and part of the pleasure is the crunchiness of the sugar and the little pieces of peanut (if you use crunchy peanut butter).
Speaking of peanut butter, Black Cat has a version with no added sugar or salt, and you can get it in smooth or crunchy, so look out for that in your local supermarket (or the equivalent, if you don’t live in South Africa).
Otherwise, all I can say is eat them with appreciation and hope that counts for something!
- 1¼c white or wholewheat flour
- 1c sugar (brown or white or ½c of each)
- 100g butter, cut into cubes
- 100g peanut butter, preferably crunchy but smooth will do
- 2T milk
- 1t bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180°C and cut some baking paper to fit a large baking tray.
Place the sugar and flour in a biggish bowl and mix them together.
Add the butter cubes to the flour mix.
Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture, pinching the pieces of butter between your fingertips as you mix it in. It should end up looking something like breadcrumbs, most likely with a few bigger pieces of butter here and there. See here for a quick demo.
When the butter is mostly rubbed in, add the peanut butter and mix it in.
In a separate small bowl, stir the bicarb into the milk.
Then quickly pour it into the peanut butter mixture before the bicarb sinks back to the bottom.
Mix it in well. If it’s a bit wet, add some flour and if it’s a bit dry, add a dash more milk. You should have a slightly sticky dough you can easily shape.
Roll the dough into balls about 3cm across, place them on the baking tray and flatten them gently with a fork.
Bake for 15-20 minutes near the centre of the oven, watching carefully as they easily burn on the bottom. Take them out as they’re just starting to go a slightly darker brown around the edges.
They will still be very soft at this point so leave them in the pan till they cool slightly and harden up. Then carefully separate them and leave them on a cooling rack until they’re cold (you can also leave them in the pan).
Store the biscuits in an airtight tin, ready to serve with tea or coffee.
© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014