Each year at work we arrange kris kringle amongst our immediate team and for my gift this year I made a batch of this moreish peanut butter caramel slice.
Sweet treats work really well as kris kringle gifts, as it’s hard to go wrong with baked goods – especially if they’re homemade and come in a nice container that can be kept and re- purposed (used tupperware doesn’t count).
It’s also a great option if you don’t know your recipient very well, because a) homemade gifts carry a nice personal touch and b) …well, it’s edible… Enough said.
This recipe hails from the classic cooking repository of the Australian Women’s Weekly, from a specialty biscuit edition that’s got to be at least twenty years old.
I popped over to Mum’s last week to to trawl through her AWW cookbooks and flicking through them brought back so many childhood recollections. As previously noted, my memory is fundamentally linked to food and triggered by recalling whatever I happened to be eating at the time.
Well, looking through those familiar pages of lemon coconut slice, stained glass biscuits and honey jumbles, I couldn’t help but be transported back to primary school age.
We’d regularly come home to Mum’s baking, often found still cooling on a wire rack on top of the stove, the kitchen full of sugary smells and – if we were lucky – the mixing bowl still waiting to be licked clean.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe a bit to include peanut butter, by replacing the same measure of butter in the caramel topping (because let’s face it – almost everybody’s life can be improved by more peanut butter).
(Apologies to those allergic to peanuts, you might have to sit this one out…!)
peanut butter caramel slice
adapted from ‘the big book of beautiful biscuits’ by the australian women’s weekly
125g butter 1 cup caster sugar 1 egg yolk 1 cup plain flour ¼ cup self-raising flour pinch of sea salt
peanut caramel topping ½ cup brown sugar 60g butter ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter 2 tbsp golden syrup 150g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped 1 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a lamington tray with baking paper. The baking paper isn’t technically essential (you can grease the pan with a little butter instead) but it makes removing and cutting the slice far easier at the end.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and whisk briefly to combine.
Sift together the plain flour, self-raising flour and salt, and add to the wet mixture. Whisk on low until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs (I needed to add a teaspoon of cold water to bring mine together).
Once thoroughly combined, tip the ‘crumbs’ onto the baking paper within the lamington tray and use the back of a soup spoon to spread and smooth over the biscuit dough in a single, even layer.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and starting to brown at the edges.
Remove and set aside while you make the peanut caramel topping.
Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is an even consistency.
Simmer gently for 5 minutes before stirring through the sea salt and chopped peanuts.
Remove the caramel from the heat and pour over the biscuit base, making sure all the surface is covered.
Bake for a further 5 minutes and then set aside to cool completely, before removing from the tray and cutting into squares.