This recipe is my fifth attempt to make these peanut chocolate and caramel cookies. I have made it! Here there are in all their peanutty, chocolate and gooey caramel beauty. I have to stand back and admire them, it’s been some journey creating them. Earlier this week I posted my various attempts at these cookies on Facebook.
I had two breakthrough moments. The first was learning that I could control how much the cookies spread and what their texture was by changing the type of sugar I was using. I explain more here in my post about sugar. In a nutshell if you want crunchy cookies use white sugar only. The white sugar will mean the cookies will spread a lot. You can reduce the spreading by chilling the mixture before you put it in the oven. Using some proportion of brown sugar gives a softer, chewier texture.
My second breakthrough was realising that using Cadbury’s caramel would answer my caramel needs. I tried dairy toffees both whole and chopped up into small bits. But these were too hard once the cookie had cooled. A whole toffee made the cookie tricky to eat. I was trying to bite through something hard in the middle of a soft cookie. Then I tried caramel ice cream sauce encased in cookie dough but this just split everywhere on the baking sheet when heated in the oven. Then I tried fudge chopped up into small pieces, this was good, it was an even consistency after being cooked. But I felt I was cheating, it wasn’t caramel it was fudge. So finally, I made up two trial cookies using, what I hoped would be, the winning cookie mixture. I put a piece of Cadbury’s caramel in one cookie and a Rolo in the other.
The cookie mixture was spot on, more details about that below. The Cadbury’s caramel easily won over the Rolo. The caramel inside the Cadbury’s caramel is much gooier than the Rolo and that was what was needed.
The only way to improve on the outcome was to use two pieces of Cadbury’s caramel rather than one. Now we are talking!!
Here are the other adjustments I made to the final recipe.
• Changed from plain flour to self raising flour, to give the cookies some rise which holds the piece of caramel.
• Increased the amount of chocolate chunks by 50%
• Reduced the amount of butter so the cookies weren’t greasy
• Changed the sugar from 100% caster to 50% caster and 50% light muscovado. This reduced the spreading and produced a chewier texture.
• Changed crunchy to smooth peanut butter. This reduced the crumbly nature of cookie
• Added salted peanuts to the top.
• Added salt to boost the flavour
• Added cocoa to increase chocolate flavour and colour contrast on the top.
Peanut, chocolate and caramel cookies
I use dark chocolate for the chunks and the melted chocolate on the top, milk chocolate would also work, it will produce a sweeter cookie.
If you can’t get hold of Cadbury’s caramel any other soft caramel encased in chocolate should work.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter
- 75g/2½oz light muscovado sugar
- 75g2½oz caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 300g/10½oz self raising flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- ¼ tsp salt
- 150g/5¼oz smooth peanut butter
- 150g/5¼oz chocolate chunks
- 24 pieces of Cadbury’s caramel
- 75g2½oz chocolate
- 55g/2oz of salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Flakes of sea salt
- Preheat the oven 180C/160C fan/355 F/ Gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg. Add in the flour, cocoa, salt, peanut butter and chocolate chunks. Mix well, you may need to get your hands on the mixture to bring it all together into a ball.
- Take a 12th of the mixture, and divide it in two. (A 12th should weigh about 70g.) Shape one piece into a disc shape so that it will just hold two pieces of Cadbury’s caramel. Shape the other piece similarly and place it on top, seal the cookie dough round the edges with your fingers so you can’t see what’s inside. These cookies will spread while they cook so space them out on the baking sheet/s.
- Bake for 15 minutes, they will continue cooking inside once out of the oven so leave them on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. Then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Then use a fork to scatter it over the cookies. Top with chopped peanuts and flakes of sea salt. The melted chocolate sticks the peanuts and salt onto the cookies.