Regular readers will know that the TIFFIN kitchen and surrounds are in renovation mode. After waiting a long time for building to commence, we were unexpectedly catapulted ahead of schedule. Every day for the past few weeks our builder, Robert and his trusty assistant Mario, have been visiting the house on a daily basis preparing to pour a new slab for the dining room. Once the slab has cured, the real renovations will commence including removal of the kitchen. In readiness for this event, I have been making, baking and freezing meals and treats so we will have a supply to see us through the lean, non kitchen months.
One biscuit that is quick to make and freezes wonderfully are my Peanut Butter & Ginger Biscuits, an adaptation on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tahini Cookies. They were borne out of an unfortunate incident when I purchased not one but two jars of peanut butter only to find they were sugar and salt free. Read, taste free. I decided that peanut butter was close enough in consistency to tahini to successfully adapt the recipe and after some trial and error, hit upon a formula. Perfect for little hands to help roll into balls and press patterns into.
I have called these Builder’s Biscuits as they are what I made when I had to send out ‘sorry for the noise, sorry for the dust’ gifts to the neighbours. I also sent a batch home with both Robert and Mario. Robert heard his sons chattering in the next room and when he asked them what they were talking about, it turned out to be about the Builder’s Biscuits. Here’s what a couple of 5 and 8 year-old critics have to say about my biscuits:
Just in case you were in any doubt – ‘it’s like a sweet nut biscuit’ and ‘it looks like yuck’ but apparently, ‘it’s divine’! I’ll have to ask if I can quote them in my references. So, if you need to stock up on a supply of biscuits to placate the neighbours or keep in good with the tradies, these are the ones for you.
Peanut Butter & Ginger Biscuits
- 100g caster sugar
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 110g peanut butter
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 4 tbsp crystallised/preserved ginger, chopped
- 270g plain flour
- Place sugar and butter in a bowl and mix for a minute or so until just combined but not aerated
- Add peanut butter, ground ginger and chopped ginger and mix again. Add flour and continue to mix until a dough comes together
- Knead in bowl for a minute or so until the dough is smooth
- Pinch off 20g of the dough and roll in the palms of your hand to form a ball, place on lined baking tray. If you weigh the dough, the biscuits should bake evenly. Do not overcrowd the tray as they will spread slightly.
- Continue to roll balls of dough and place on baking tray. Press each ball flat with the back of a fork. There will be some cracking around the edges.
- Place the tray/s in an oven preheated to 200c/180c fan and cook for approx 15 minutes or until golden. Watch towards the end as they will catch and can over brown very easily.
- Slide onto wire rack and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 – 35 biscuits
- The recipe by Ottolenghi makes the biscuits in a mixmaster but I have adapted it to make by hand, for those who do not have or can not be bothered with a mixmaster. This is a very easy recipe and requires no elbow grease whatsoever as the dough comes together readily and does not need kneading (as he also suggests).
- Make sure you use preserved ginger, not fresh. I used Buderim ‘Naked’ Ginger which doesn’t have sugar crystals on the outside but any preserved ginger is fine.
Incidentally, when I make the Tahini Cookies, I only press the fork in once to decorate the dough. When I make the Peanut Butter Biscuits, I always press the fork both ways. This allows me to distinguish which biscuits contain nuts.