Nowadays, with a little breathing space and a (slightly) more regular routine, I’m on a mission to expand my cooking horizons and explore the years of stored up recipes. I finally have all my cookbooks in one house, albeit still scattered between the kitchen shelf, a corner of the table in the living room, piled up next to the computer, along the sides of the stairs and filling the recently-built shelves upstairs in what is supposed to be my office (these days it’s still too cold to heat more than the main living room!).
So, surrounded by cookbooks, I try to use new recipes, especially on my days working from home when I fill the tins so that there’s something nice to take to work for the Husband, myself and my workmates. I spent a while stuck in a Flapjack rut, but, that now mastered, I’ve moved on. The criteria are simple – whatever it is has to be quick to make, good to eat with my morning cup of coffee in work and, very important this, happy to sit in the tin for about a week. Here’s the latest try-out, adapted from Sue Lawrence’s On Baking.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Self raising flour – 285g/10oz
Baking powder – ¼ teaspoon
Dark brown Muscovado sugar – 227g/8oz
Peanut butter – 113g/4oz, preferably sugar free
Eggs – 2, beaten
Butter – 113g/4oz, slightly softened
Dark chocolate – 142g/5oz
Peanut butter – 85g/3oz
Desiccated coconut – 57g/2oz
Preheat the oven to 180˚C – or 170˚C for a fan oven. Butter the sides and base of a 23 x 33cm/9 x 13 inch swiss-roll tin.
Put the flour, baking powder and Muscovado sugar into the bowl of a mixer. Mix the peanut butter and eggs together and add to the bowl with the butter. Starting slowly so that the flour doesn’t scatter, beat the mixture together to make a thick batter. Scrape into the prepared tin, smooth with a spatula and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are slightly firm and a skewer comes out cleanly from the centre.
Place on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes while preparing the topping.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. When melted, add the peanut butter and desiccated coconut, mix well and spread across the still-warm base, levelling off the top.
Cut into squares before the chocolate sets and allow to cool in the tin.
Makes 30 squares.