Adapted from a recipe I tore out of a Sainsburys magazine
There is something completely cathartic and magical about baking, and I don’t do it anywhere near as much as I should. Cookies are actually really quick to knock together, and oh so satisfying. As the winter carries on and gets even more damp, dark and relentless, treats like these are always welcome.
As you may have noticed, I love cooking with peanut butter. Peanut butter and jam on toast is one of my guilty pleasures. I practically lived off it when I was at university. For me the jam has to be a purple kind as opposed to red – blackcurrant or cherry, never strawberry. Classy people may turn their noses up at ‘pb and j’, but really, it is just another example of how sweet and salty can be the best of friends.
These cookies are absolutely fantastic - they echo the ways in which peanut butter and jam work, but in a more sophisticated and less sticky way. I have reduced the sugar a lot from the original recipe, but they are sweet enough, with delicious bursts of sweet and sour from the cherries.
Makes 24 ish
100g unsalted butter, softened
125g light muscavado sugar (this is les sugar than the original recipe)
200g crunchy peanut butter – I use Meridian brand, which contains no added sugar, salt, palm oil, or anything else other than peanuts - I recommend using it for cooking, but for just eating it on toast it takes some getting used to.
1 large egg
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g plain flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
125g dried cherries – I used dried morello cherries
Preheat the oven to 160 c with fan, and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until creamy and amalgamated. Mix in the peanut butter and egg, and then sift in the bicarbonate of soda, flour, and salt. Stir well and add the cherries and vanilla if using. Mix everything together until a soft dough forms.
Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and space them evenly on the baking sheets, use a fork to flatten them a bit and make some cute groove shapes in the top.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes – it is a little tricky to tell if they are done because the dough is brown-ish anyway from the peanut butter. They will be soft when they come out of the oven, but will harden up as they cool down.