So a couple of months ago, we bought this fabulous book, The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. What makes it so valuable for a home cook is that it’s really a book of ideas of what to cook. It sets out lots of different flavour pairings – almost daring you to come up with something wonderful. So we were flipping through the book one day (does anyone else read cookbooks for fun?) and found the “peanut and chilli” combination. We’ve had peanuts and chillies together before in South East Asian food but we’ve never tried it in baked goods. (We also had a lonely bag of peanut butter chips that we usually add to cookies but were trying use up in a more creative way!) Et voila, the peanut butter chip and chilli shortbread was born!
We did use a variety of different types of chillies to both bring out the peanut butter flavour and to give the shortbread a kick. You could leave some of it out depending on how big a fan you are of chilli. What we love about it is the lovely buttery taste and sweetness you first experience followed by some serious heat! Totally deceptive but a must try!
Makes about 30 squares
325g plain flour
1 tbsp semolina
155g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
225g cold unsalted butter, cubed
283g peanut butter chips
4 dried chillies, deseeded and crushed
3 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground red chilli (optional)
- Mix the flour, semolina, sugar and salt together in a big bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour thoroughly. Keep kneading until the dough starts to come together.
- Add the peanut butter chips, chillies, paprika (and red chilli if you like) and mix into the dough.
- Press into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 140C (fan assisted).
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper and press the dough onto the baking sheet, getting it as flat as possible.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden.
- Take out the baking tray and cool for half an hour.
- Cut into squares and enjoy immediately or store in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.
So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.