Of all my favourite meal times of the day afternoon tea has to be my absolute favourite, followed closely behind by late night snack (or snacks). It is not just a break from daily grind of life and a chance to recharge with a cup of coffee or tea, but it allows for me time. I am always keeping busy and rarely get the occasion to reflect on mind musings. Sometimes they can be serious e.g. world events, health issues; others not so much e.g What happened to Blue clues or Rugrats in the end?
Either way this small break in the day gives me a chance to think freely.
Also I love afternoon tea because it gives you an excuse to meet up with friends for a good chat or gossip. The social interaction around a cafe table over a latte and sweet treat is made for strengthening a friendship. It does not always have to be at cafe, sometimes the simple interaction at home are the best. I cannot count the number of times the best moments with my friends was over a pour from the packet coffee and a commercially made cookie.
My favourite sweet treats to have at afternoon tea include the humble Malt O’milk, Digestive and Jamie Jodger. Not the most adventurous of cookies, but all of make for a great dunking biscuit. How many of you dunk? Apparently the dunking action makes the biscuit taste more like biscuit; I have Heston’s series to thank for that little bit of trivia.
Anyway on to this cookie I love the traditional Jammie dodger; a perfectly buttery short bread encasing a blob of raspberry jam. Of course the classic is great and I do not wish to compete with it (after all it is England’s number one cookie), but here is my variation. For a bit of difference I have taken inspiration from another flavour combo of peanut butter and jelly in Sandwiches. If you can do it to bread, I am sure it would work in desserts too.
Here peanut butter short bread is sandwiched with blackberry jam and peanut butter custard cream. The blackberry jam works better with the richness of peanut cream, as I find raspberry or strawberry jam little too sweet. The cookie is based on a malted pastry dough, so you know it going to be good. The stamp is just for a bit of fun (I bought it this week), makes them just that more personal.
Cookies, biscuits whatever you call them. Nothing beats a good dunking in the afternoon.
PeaNutti dodges (Peanut shortbread sandwiches with Blackberry jam and peanut custard cream)
Makes 10 large cookies
Adapted from Gourmet traveller Annual cookbook 2009
240g plain flour
60g cold butter, cubed
60g cold peanut butter.
40g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
In a food processor, place flour, icing sugar cubed butter and peanut butter. Pulse until it looks like rough bread crumbs.
Add the vanilla and egg yolks and pulse until it just beginning to clump.
Turn out on to a floured surface and knead lightly to form a flat round disc.
Wrap this dough in cling and fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 180c. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough about 3mm thick.
Take a 7cm diameter cutter and cut rounds from the dough. It helps if you lightly flour the cutter before cutting, this makes it stick less.
Transfer cookies to tray and return to fridge for 30 minutes.
Continue re clumping and rolling the dough until fully used.
Bake for 10 minutes until light brown. Cool on trays.
Peanut custard cream
Adapted from this custard cream recipe on Food.com
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
60g peanut butter
Scald milk in sauce pan and stir in peanut butter until fully combined
Mix together sugar flour and salt
Add eggs to flour mixture and beat until combined.
While whisking, pour in hot milk in thin steam to the egg and flour mixture. DO this off the heat
This will thicken alot, allow to cool to become pipable.
Black berry jam
Peanut custard cream
Peanut short bread
Take one short bread cookie and pipe a circle of peanut cream. Like a donut shape
Teaspoon jam in the hole and top with remain biscuit.
Fridge for 30 minutes before serving.