Peanut butter biscuits


Peanut butter biscuits

This was my easy Saturday baking this week. I also managed to squeeze in a decent amount of cooking. We were originally going to do pizzas, but I asked husband in the morning if he had thought it through because I could also easily do a chicken biryani. "Oh, yes, please", exclaimed husband. "I haven't had rice for ages!" Can't be more than a few days, but who's counting - the man loves his rice.

While husband was hanging out with the kids in town I went for a little walk through our local park and to a Greek food shop called Al-Abbas which to me sounds suspiciously non-Greek. They had interesting little things that I collected in my basket for the total cost of £15. Gone are the days of Saturday shopping when I used to come home with bags of shoes and clothes. Now it's caper leaves, olive oil, fresh herbs and a chunk of feta from a big barrel.

And then I hung out in my favourite place, the kitchen, listening to a Spotify playlist of Finnish pop/rock. I love the lyrics, Finns are such poets. There was a song about a guy called Kari who has a saxophone and whose neighbours hate him. He just keeps happily practicing his scales. It is very important to work on the technique, the song supportively confirms. And there was another one about the great fear of communism which I can easily relate to because I have always had a great fear of communism.

And then there was a beautiful love song which would have made me cry even if I hadn't been chopping onions. It was a duet where a girl and a boy were singing about how they would do anything the other asked, how they would change their religion, stop going to new wars, move north to north-west, burst through bedrock or move to Andorra if the other one asked. Everyday requests in some relationships, I'm sure. For us it's mainly about the laundry or putting out the bins every Tuesday. Particularly the recycling is a bit of a faff. And then they sing about how without the other, without love they were already half way to hell. Bawl.

The guy, singer and actor (he was even playing a baddie in one of the Mission Impossibles) is a very popular artist in Finland. He's one of those no-nonsense proper guys who doesn't talk much but knows how to skin a moose or build a log cabin. We like our men big and burly and quiet.

Interestingly there is a bit of a family connection. The singer guy, let's call him Samuli, his father, a classical composer and musician, and step-mum, a film maker, used to live across the lake in the same village with my parents and their dog would sniff our dog's butt and vice versa. And they had coffees together a few times, my parents and Samuli's parents, not the dogs, but I think the artistic couple were a bit too new age, radical and extreme left wing for my ever-so-slightly conventional and conservative parents with great fear of communism.

I remember dad disapproving the no-carbs diet of the composer and mum being very confused about the film maker lady's skirts (too long, wide and colourful apparently). And then their dog died and later they moved to another little village, so the blossoming friendship fizzled out and there was no reason for me to point my binoculars across the lake in the hope that Samuli was visiting his dad and decided to have a sneaky skinny dip. Just kidding - I never did that.

So to the sweet familiar sounds of Finnish music I made a huge biryani which I served with cucumber laban, flatbread and a mixed salad with fresh herbs and lemon,

And I also made these excellent peanut butter biscuits, really easy to make and they keep for several days. Although they usually don't because husband's boys can eat through a batch in less than 12 hours.

This time I halved the recipe and ended up putting in slightly too little flour, the mathematical challenge of halving 2 1/2 cups proved too much in the fragile emotional state I was in as a results of all the melancholy music, so they came out a bit flat, but equally delicious.

Chicken biryani
Before and after - big ass biryani

Peanut butter biscuits (makes 48)

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Cream soft room temperature butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a bowl; beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into butter mixture. Put dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a crisscross pattern.

Bake in a preheated 190 C oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.

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