Friday, 28 February 2014

Maple Syrup & Pecan Biscuits

Maple syrup and pecan nuts is one of those classic flavour combinations and is justifiably very popular. The somewhat smoky character of the maple syrup complements and accentuates the sweetly nutty flavour of the pecans. Some nuts, such as walnuts can have a slightly bitter edge to them but this is not the case with pecans and this makes them perfect for using in a range of dishes particularly sweet cakes and pastries.

I love maple syrup and pecan pastries and have always loved pecan pie, but for this recipe, I was keen to create a biscuit that highlighted how wonderful the maple syrup and pecan flavour combination is. I think that this biscuit does this very successfully.

The finished biscuits are lovely and crunchy around the edge and slightly chewy in the middle which I think is particularly pleasing.
 
The biscuits keep well for 3 or 4 days if stored in an air-tight tin, but do remember that once you have made the biscuit dough logs they can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and you can bake a few biscuits to eat freshly baked rather than bake them all in one go. Just slice the dough, pop on a whole pecan and bake in the oven!
 

Ingredients:

185g butter, at room temperature
185g sift brown sugar
60ml maple syrup
1tsp vanilla paste/extract
1 large egg
280g plain flour
½tsp baking powder
100g pecans, chopped fairly finely
30 whole pecans to decorate
 

Method:

1. Cream the butter and sugar together, in a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, until pale and creamy. Add the maple syrup, vanilla paste and the egg and beat together until well combined.
2. Sieve the flour and baking powder together and add to the butter mixture. Use a wooden spoon to work the flour into the butter mixture to form a soft dough.
3. Divide the dough into two. Place one portion of dough onto a sheet on non-stick baking parchment and roll into a log shape approximately 30cms long and 5cms thick. Gently roll the log in half of the chopped pecans so that they become embedded in the outside of the log. Wrap the log in some cling-film. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Place the two cling-filmed logs in the fridge for chill for at least an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking parchment.
5. Remove the logs from the fridge and cut into slices about 1cm thick. Press a whole pecan into the top of each biscuit and place on the lined baking trays, making sure to leave a generous amount of space between each biscuit as they do spread quite a lot when they are baking.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a rich golden brown colour. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the trays and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Makes approximately 30 biscuits.