Or cookies. Both are equally delicious.
We bought a bag of cheap salted peanuts, and they were so inadequate as a snack that next time we’ll get the more expensive kind again (won’t break the bank, about 20% more expensive). Good enough for baking, though. My experiment came out completely right the first time. They’re not very sweet; if you like them sweeter I suppose you might add some sugar apart from the caramel.
1 smallish egg
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
If the peanuts are salted, rinse and drain them. If they’re not, your recipe may need a pinch of salt. Give them a whirl in a blender until chopped but not yet peanut-buttery. Put the peanuts in a roomy mixing bowl.
Make caramel from the sugar by melting it in a thick-bottomed saucepan until it turns a rich golden brown. Don’t stir, but shake loose sugar on top of the already-melted sugar and tilt the pan so all is absorbed. You can push sugar grains that stick to the sides of the pan into the melt with a dry spoon, but do resist the temptation to stir while you’re doing that. Don’t add any liquid either.
When all the sugar is melted and caramelised, add the butter. Now stir vigorously in order not to leave any lumps. Take the pan off the heat and stir some more. Pour the caramel into the bowl with the peanuts and mix thoroughly.
Mix in the egg before the stuff sets. (If the phone rings before you can add the egg, start again with new peanuts, sugar and butter and enjoy your delicious peanut candy.)
Mix in enough flour to make a stiff and not hopelessly sticky dough. (I think it was between 50 and 100g)
Roll balls about 2cm across and flatten them with the heel of your hand on a parchment- or silicone-lined baking tray. Press a couple of whole peanuts into each one, if you like.
This amount makes about 20, the whole baking tray full. Bake 10 minutes or until they smell yummy and exhibit darker brown patches. Convection is a good thing but it can be done without.