Sunday, 11 May 2014

Shortcake Biscuits with Salted Peanut Caramel Filling

(Once again, ignoring the break that was taken). Time and time again I've complained to everyone I know as well as the internet that baking in student housing is less than ideal. When I realized I would need to move again this year, I latched myself on to a particular townhouse complex and begged and pleaded several other students (also strangers) until I could guarantee myself a room in one of these. Why? The kitchen. I have stainless steel appliances, a microwave I could fit in and...wait for it...a dishwasher. My kitchen aid also fits quite nicely on the granite counter top. 

So I am now living here for the summer and I'm hoping to be able to dedicate myself more to the blog and really try and improve my knowledge and baking skills.

On the day I moved in I got a text from one of my friends who is also baker. She was commenting on how she couldn't wait for the Great British Bake Off to start up again. That got the wheels turning in my head and I realized to kick off the summer, I had to bake something from the show. Naturally, the bake wasn't "perfect" but I learned some new techniques and of course you're reading this post so you know what to look out for.

This recipe is of course from the only season I have never watched, the first, so I couldn't watch the show for reference. 
Caramel Peanuts
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 tbsp water
-2 tbsp salted and halved peanuts

Arrange the peanuts on a baking sheet.

In a saucepan, add the sugar and water and stir until it resembles a a wet sand. 

Cook on medium heat until it boils and turns a golden brown colour. Do not stir.

Pour the caramel over the peanuts. I would use a spoon and drizzle the caramel rather than pour straight from the pot. I got a large blob which once cooled and broken into pieces resembled the above photo. The peanuts mostly cam detached from the caramel and the caramel was too thick and sharp to eat. 

(usable pieces I was left with)

-1 cup butter
-1 cup sugar
-2 tbsp peanut butter
-1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat over to 325 F.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add peanut butter until combined. 

Sift in flour until the mixture comes together as a dough. I found it to be gritty and greasy. Cover the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. (Reading the recipe over, I realized I forgot this. So it might be the difference to getting a better consistency in the dough.)

Flour the work surface and roll and cut 24 biscuits. I found the recipe made much more than this.

Place on a cookie sheet, either greased or lined with parchment paper. Wrap in cling film and chill for another 15 minutes. Despite the recipe not having a leavening agent, this recipe is not like a typical rolled cookie. They didn't necessarily rise, however they did expand so make sure to space the biscuits a fair distance apart.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

-300g dulce de leche
-1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
-1 tbsp salted peanuts, chopped
-additional 75g dark chocolate for garnish

Bring the dulce de leche to a boil on medium heat. This part was omitted from the recipe. (Was this a technical challenge?!) After looking up a similar recipe this was done so I assumed this to be the case.

Remove from heat and add salt and peanuts. Set aside to cool.

Spread the filling on half the biscuits and use the others to make a sandwich.

For garnish, melt dark chocolate and drizzle it over the cookies.Finish with the caramel peanuts.

Ready, set, BAKE!

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