Chocolate is without doubt, the greatest invention/discovery in the history of the world. Forget about your Penicillin, your Printing Press, Harnessed Electricity, and Post-It Notes. A world in which chocolate doesn’t exist is a world not worthy of existing at all. A bit dramatic? Probably, but all I had for lunch was some chocolate ice cream and my brain isn’t really the better for it. I ate two bananas yesterday though and a handful of raisins this morning, so it all evens out. But even the biggest of chocolate fans needs a break from the stuff from time to time, if only for a couple of days. So what to eat when you’re in the mood for something sweet but chocolate is off the menu? Homemade biscuits are always a great option. I just love it when the sweet warm smell of baking biccies starts to fill the air, but I love eating them straight from the oven even more! When I took these maple and pecan biscuits out of the oven I wasn’t sure if they were baked properly, so obviously I had to test one of them. One thing led to another and I had two polished off before I knew what has happening. They were baked properly. Sweet, nutty, soft in the centre and crisp around the edges. The perfect non-chocolatey treat!
Maple and Pecan Biscuits.
185g (6.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
185g (6.5 oz/1 cup) soft brown sugar
60ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g (10 oz/2 1/4 cups) plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
120g (4 1/2 oz/1 cup) finely chopped pecans
Whole pecans to decorate
1) Cream the butter and sugar in a small bowl using electric beaters until light and creamy. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and egg and beat until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl and add the sifted flour and baking powder. Using a flat bladed knife, mix to a soft dough. Gather together and divide the mixture into two portions.
2) Place one portion of the dough on a sheet of baking paper and press lightly until the dough is about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 1.5 inches (4cm thick). Roll into a sausage shape and then roll this sweet doughy sausage in the chopped pecans. Repeat with the other portion of dough and wrap each one in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
3) Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas4) and line 2 baking trays. Cut the logs into slices about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Press a whole pecan onto the top of each biscuit. Place on the lined trays about 1/4 inch (3 cm) apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the trays for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.