I’ve been wanting to use my precious little tin of fleur de sel (French for ‘flower of salt) which I got from my last visit to Paris. When I came across this recipe, I thought it might be nice to replace the sea salt with fleur de sel. And yes indeed it was!
Since fleur de sel is a more pricey salt, hand harvested from the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of the salt pans in France, it’s not to be used for regular cooking. Oh no no no. There has to be more of a ‘show and taste’ kind of appearance, best sprinkled on food before serving or in my case, on top of a yummy peanut butter cookie.
Even the hubby noticed how different the ‘bits of salt on top’ tasted. Success!
The recipe called for actual peanuts, but I didn’t have any available in my pantry, so I omitted them, but the cookies did not lose the crunch despite missing nuts.
Place on a lined tray with enough elbow space… They do not expand very much anyway…And don’t forget the salt. Put a little sprinkle on each cookie and admire it’s beauty…
Then bake it. Be patient…it won’t take too long. And soon enough…the cookies are done. And it’s time to devour them. Or you could be like everyone else, and give them a chance to cool off first. Your tongue will appreciate that.
Crunchy peanut butter cookies with fleur de sel (or sea salt)
Adapted from Almost Bourdain
2 cups (300 g) plain flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
180 g unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into chunks
1/3 cup (75 g) castor sugar
1/3 cup (75 g) firmly-packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
110 g crunchy peanut butter
Fleur de sel or Sea salt flakes, for topping
- Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix it well…you can use a food processor if you have one.
- Beat the butter and both sugars until they’re light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix them in for 10 seconds; the mixture may look a bit curdled, but it will be fine once the flour is added. Scrape the peanut butter into the egg mixture and mix the machine briefly again so it mixes in. Add the flour mixture until it just forms a thick soft dough (Don’t overdo the mixing in of the flour or the biscuits will be a tad tough.) I ended up mixing with a wooden spoon at this point.
- Scrape the dough out onto a chopping board and divide it in half.If you’re using peanuts, mix them in with your hands before this step.
- Lay a large sheet of foil on a bench and cover it with a sheet of baking paper. Gently knead one piece of the dough briefly to bring it together, then roll it into a log about 5 cm in diameter. Wrap dough tightly and let it chill and harden in the fridge for a couple of hours or until it’s firm enough to cut.
- Bake, in batches if neccessary, for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are light golden-brown and feel crisp to touch. Remove the trays from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool completely on them. Store the biscuits in an airtight container, where they will keep well for 5-6 days, or freeze them for up to 2 weeks, and when you want, defrost them at room temperature.