Sweet and salty peanut biscuits (Nigella Lawson)

If greed alone were the spur and measure, these would be my favourite biscuits. There’s something about the contrast between salt and sweet and their crumbly lightness that makes them instantly addictive. They make a seductive partnership with vanilla ice cream: you can do this the elegant grown-up way with bowls of ice cream and a plate of the biscuits; or, my weakness, made up into sandwiches, the nubbly discs clasped round the soft, cold cream.

Two requests: don’t use jumbo peanuts and don’t use all butter. You need that Trex: quite apart from its trailer-trash charm, it’s what makes them light.

Makes about 30
light muscovado sugar 75g, plus more for dipping later
unsalted butter 100g
vegetable shortening such as Trex 50g
egg 1 large
vanilla extract 1 tsp
self-raising flour 175g
salted peanuts 125g
baking sheets 2, lined

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla. Just beat it together, no ceremony, to combine well. You may find this easiest to do with an electric mixer. Stir in the flour and then the peanuts – and that’s your dough done. Now, drop the dough in rounded teaspoons about 5cm apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

Oil the bottom of a glass, or brush with melted butter, and dip it into some more light muscovado sugar and then press gently on the biscuits to flatten them.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, by which time they should be cooked through (though remember that biscuits always continue to cook for a while out of the oven), then remove to a wire rack to cool.

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