These are inspired by “turtles”, a popular American candy invented in the 1930s. A chewy mess of caramel, pecans and chocolate, they've lent their famous flavour-profile to a whole host of cookie spin-offs. Peanuts stand in admirably for pecans. Peanut butter in the mix makes them even more rich – but if you want to really go whole hog, add a cup of chopped dark chocolate to the dough as well.
- 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
- 75 g (¾ cup) cocoa
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g smooth peanut butter
- 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 165 g (¾ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 60 ml (¼ cup) milk
- 200 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 250 g (1¾ cup) roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) cream
- 2½ tbsp smooth peanut butter
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Refrigeration time: 1 hour
Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl then set aside.
Combine the butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl then, using electric beaters, beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the egg yolk and beat to combine well. Add the sifted mixture and milk to the bowl then using a large metal spoon, stir to form a firm dough.
Combine the chopped chocolate and peanuts in a bowl. Line a large tray with baking paper. Using your hands, roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls. Roll each ball in the chocolate mixture to coat well, using your hands to press the mixture into each ball and to flatten each slightly into a thick disc about 7 cm across. Place on the lined tray then refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place cookies on the trays, leaving room for spreading; you will need to cook them in several batches. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen slightly and firm, switching the trays on the racks half way through baking. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.
For the glaze, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat then cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has melted and is starting to turn light golden. Cook for another 4 minutes or until it is deep golden. Working quickly and taking care as the mixture is extremely hot and will spit, remove it from the heat, add the cream and peanut butter and swirl the pan until the peanut butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle a little of the glaze over each cookie then stand for 1 hour or until cooled and firm. Cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.