Peanut Brownies

It’s funny what can inspire you to cook something.  An open packet of roasted salted peanuts and a paint tin of M&Ms (a freebie from buying paint for our new kitchen!) inspired our baking this afternoon.

Peanut brownies are an old school NZ favourite – a classic from the Edmonds cookbook era.  I remember having the extra special treat of baking in my lunchbox, in the days before muesli bars and bought biscuits became the norm.

There’s a running joke in our family that chocolate baking only needs a tablespoon of cocoa, a hark back to our childhood days when nothing ever came out of the oven with the dense strong chocolately flavour that I search out in my baking these days.  So when I saw this recipe had only 2 tablespoons of cocoa it was a flag to me to increase it and modernise this old recipe.

I’ve reduced the sugar a little, amped up the cocoa, and used roasted salted peanuts.

 Peanut Brownies
adapted from Edmonds Cookbook

125g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups standard plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt (omit if using roasted salted peanuts)
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts (or just plain roasted peanuts)

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and light.  Add the egg and mix well, then add sifted dry ingredients and mix gently until a dough forms.  Add peanuts and mix.
Place tablespoon sized cookies onto baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked (be careful you don’t burn the bottoms!)



I failed miserably at my weekend list – I only managed to achieve one of the things I set out to do.  Luckily we had some amazing weather (making a change from the snow earlier in the week (!)) which made it ok to not be in the kitchen all day!!

I did manage to bake a hummingbird cake (banana and pineapple), but I tweaked the recipe too much from the original, so I need to try that one more time and I think I’ll get it perfect.

I made a few batches of cookies last week – the peanut butter and chocolate chip went down a TREAT in my office.

Chocolate Peanut Buttery Cookies








I adapted this recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, a gorgeous bakery that started in Portobello Road in Notting Hill, London (they now have  bakeries in Soho, South Ken and The City).  I used to visit there often when I lived in London (could never decide which flavour cupcake to get so always ended up getting more than one and eating them walking down through the Portobello Rd market).

The cookies are crispy and have a great peanut flavour, but next time I would use more chocolate chips (I nearly always double the amount of chocolate chips specified in a recipe – you can never have too many, right??).

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper (or just grease them with cooking spray or oil).

Cream 225g butter (at room temperature), 150g sugar and 200g brown sugar until light and fluffy.  This should take about 3-5 minutes in a stand mixer (I use my Kitchenaid mixer, but a hand held egg beater or a wooden spoon with very strong arms would also work).    Add 240g crunchy peanut butter and keep mixing until it’s combined.  Add 2 eggs and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure it’s all mixed in properly.  Add ½ – 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Sift in 340g flour, 2½ teaspoons baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt, then mix again slowly until it forms a dough.
Mix in 100-150g of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, depending on how much you love chocolate.  I would do about 150g next time.
Spoon teaspoonfuls onto the prepared trays (I use a cookie scoop which is the best invention ever) and bake for about 10 minutes – they should be golden brown and a bit flat (like in the picture above).  Leave them to cool slightly on the tray if you can (there are always burned fingers when baking cookies at my place due to early grabbing off the tray!).  Cool them on a wire rack.
The original recipe said it made 24 cookies.  I forgot to count but I reckon mine was closer to 3½ dozen (I filled two cookie containers).
Eat.  Sometimes a glass of milk goes down a treat as well.