Let it be known the pecan is the king of nuts. I won’t hear any battle cries from cashews or pistachios, the pecan has it. This recipe is based on an almond kilfi recipe but I had pecans and needed them in my guts in a baked form.
I do this all in the food processor which I view as a good thing because I’ll often avoid the processor if it’s for just one step of a recipe because it’s a bastard to wash up. See also: lazy.
Don’t over mix it, just until it all comes together. And don’t make them too big – this recipe should make 60, yes SIXTY, little crescents. Basically work with a little ball of dough about as big as your thumb to the first knuckle. If you make them too big they clag in your mouth rather than just dissolving on your tongue.
Delightful little shortbreads that just dissolve on your tongue
350g (2⅓ cups) plain flour
1 tblsp caster sugar
1 cup (or so) icing sugar
Preheat oven to 160C and have two baking trays ready to go
Blitz the pecans in a food processor
Add all the other ingredients except the icing sugar and blitz until it all comes together
Roll little half-thumb sized balls of dough into a little log then press in the middle to make into a crescent. Don't be precious about this, mine always end up looking more like little logs than crescents
Place on baking trays, they don't spread so you can put them quite close to each other
Bake for 30-40 minutes until they're light brown
When cool roll in the icing sugar (to be honest I never measure the icing sugar)
Store in a container and pour over a bit more icing sugar.
I am indebted to my mate Joe for sharing his recipe for pecan pie that uses maple syrup rather than the devil’s work, corn syrup. And this. This recipe changed my life. No really. My life is better knowing this recipe exists and these biscuits can be made. In my weekly radio spot on ABC Mid North Coast this morning I shared the love so here it is for you too. You know what you have to do. Get that oven on.
I, like nearly every other biscuit maker in Australia simply used to Women’s Weekly recipe for choc chip biscuits. Fail proof, reliable and tasty that recipe really does tick all the boxes. But a few years back now a friend of mine gave me her recipe. It’s pretty similar to the WW one but somehow better. If you like a soft chewy biscuit this is your gal. If you don’t mind them flat then bake them straight-away, otherwise fridge (or freeze) the dough.
Choc chip biscuits
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (heaped)
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups choc chips
1/2-1 cup of chopped nuts (if you so wish)
Preheat oven to 180 and get your baking trays ready
Cream the butter, sugars and vanilla until pale then add the eggs and beat until well incorporated
Lower the speed on your mixed and add the dry ingredients
Tip in the choc chips and turn the speed up to incorporate (if you’re using chunks this breaks it up into various sizes which makes for an extra special biscuit)
Now, you can make the biscuits straight away by spooning heaped teaspoons onto your tray or make logs of the dough (get some cling film, spoon dough in a log shape) wrap and fridge or freeze. (if you’re using from the freezer just cut into chunks/slices and bake straightaway – no need to let it defrost)
Bake for 12 or so minutes depending on if you like super soft biscuits or darker and more crunchy.
It’s that time of year, Anzac Day is just around the corner (26 April). This is a trusty Women’s Weekly recipe, yep, the one I’ve been making since 1985 or some such nonsense. There’d be photos but I’ve made two batches in the last two days and the boys scarf them before I can get the shot.
I’ve already told you of my love of Matthew Evans. This is another one of his recipes from Good Weekend. They are sensational. A luscious light texture and the spices add complexity. Next time I might even add a little lemon zest.
(Sorry, no pics, camera batteries are dead and I think the camera is still in the car and it’s freezing so there’s no way I’m going out there now. Just so you know.)
Almond Biscuits Matthew Evans, Good Weekend
125g butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g whole, unblanched almonds
35-40 (about 50g) whole unblanched almonds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180C
In a food processor blitz the almonds until they’re fine but still crumbly – you don’t want it as fine as commercial almond meal – and set aside
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale*
Add the egg
Fold in the flour, spices, baking powder and salt
Add the almonds
Line two trays with baking paper and dot with about 1 tablespoon of mixture at regular intervals, leaving space for them to spread a little**
Press an almond into the top of each one
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they start to tan up nicely (in my oven this took more like 12 minutes)
Remove from the oven, cool well before storing.
* Because I’ve got a fancy pants processor with different sized bowls, I did the almonds in the small bowl then continued making the recipe using the processor in the bigger bowl
** Mine didn’t spread very much at all, but that could well be because I’d run out of baking powder and Mum’s was out of date…