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Top 10 budget bakes

Get the kids in the kitchen this half-term with our selection of brilliant budget bakes! From retro-inspired vanilla sprinkle school cake, to decadent peanut butter and chocolate cookies, these wallet-friendly sweet treats are the perfect way to occupy the children while they’re home for the holidays.

Peanut butter and chocolate thumbprint cookies
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Peanut butter and chocolate thumbprint cookies

Rich, nutty, with a crisp outside and fudgy milk chocolate ganache topping, these peanut butter and chocolate cookies are a must-bake for chocolate-lovers. The easy thumbprint indents are fun to make and you can even make the cookies ahead and stash in the freezer ready for whenever you need a chocolate fix.

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking paper. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter, sugar and egg in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter or tahini, then stir through the flour and cocoa. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.
  2. Divide the dough into 16 pieces (about 40g each). Working one piece at a time, roll into smooth balls and flatten between your palms to about 1cm thick. Place on a baking sheet, then make an indent in the middle with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining dough; leave space between each to allow them to spread. Cover the trays with clingfilm and chill for 30 mins. 
  3. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
  4. Bake for 15-18 mins until puffed up and slightly spread. Immediately after removing from the oven, carefully press each indent with a pestle or the end of a small rolling pin to make it a little deeper. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in small pan until just starting to boil, then pour over the chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool for a few mins until it is thick enough to just hold its shape.
  6. Working quickly, spoon the chocolate filling into the indents. Allow to set for about 2 hrs until the filling has a soft fudge-like consistency. Will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Tip: Freeze un-iced cookies in a lined, freezer-proof container, topping each layer with more baking paper. Defrost on a wire rack for 30 mins. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Peanut butter recipes

View full recipe details
  • Ingredients
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g smooth peanut butter or tahini
  • 175g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 150g silky milk chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 90ml double cream