Gourmet Traveller (Australia)

Peanut and miso shortbread bars



“This is a tender shortbread, topped with chewy caramel and salty-sweet peanuts,” says Lee. “Other nuts would also work with this, but peanuts remain a firm favourite. This is adapted from a recipe in Belinda Jeffery’s brilliant book, Mix & Bake.” 160 gm brown sugar

40 gm honey

45 gm unsalted butter

⅛ tsp chipotle powder (optional; see note)

200 gm salted roasted peanuts


125 gm unsalted butter, softened

60 gm caster sugar

1 egg yolk

25 gm (1 tbsp) shiro (white) miso paste

150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 20 gm cornflour

⅛ tsp baking powder

1 Preheat oven to 185°C. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper, leaving a little overhangin­g.

2 For shortbread base, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add egg yolk and beat to combine. Fold in miso, then flour, cornflour, baking powder and ½ tsp sea salt flakes. Press into base of tin with a slightly wet offset palette knife or a spatula. Bake until golden brown (16-18 minutes).

3 Meanwhile, combine sugar, honey, butter and chipotle in a small saucepan over medium- high heat and bring to a simmer, whisking continuous­ly. Add peanuts and ½ tsp salt flakes and stir to coat. Spread peanut mixture over warm shortbread, return to oven and bake until golden brown (15-17 minutes). Cool until only slightly warm.

4 Remove from tin, trim ends and cool completely. Cut in half, then into 3cm-wide bars and serve at room temperatur­e or chilled for a chewier result. Store bars refrigerat­ed in an airtight container for a week.

Note Powdered chipotle – smoked chilli – is available from Herbie’s Spices (herbies.com.au).

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