We are deep into autumn where the crispy, cold darkness has taken over the bright, glistening sun. Often we feel a contraction from the loss of sunshine but subtle happiness swaying towards warmth from the contentment of autumn delightfulness. In fact, we are offered with seasonal gifts, my kitchen becomes a bustling haven of stocking up and seasonal baking, in preparation for tummy busting weekends oozing with deep flavours, warm spice, root-like turnips and flourishing cabbages.
This is a time for rooting through your pantry, looking for that leaky jar of maple syrup left with drippy and sticky residue. Maple syrup is nothing but luscious golden trickles, with syrupy nuttiness overflowing in sugary maples – it’s just a complicated relationship we can’t go without!
I finally succumbed to a fresh batch of pecan and got myself baking with my eagerly awaiting maple syrup, and unleashed the magical genie. It was the perfect welcoming to an autumn day with the smells of roasted pecans, sweet raisins and syrupy maple. The biscuits had an element of my aunts soft textured nankhatai (Indian Biscuits – similar texture to shortbread biscuits), which I impatiently wait for every Diwali. The trip down memory lane got me slowly tucking into crumbly soft biscuits as I warmed myself up with homemade chai as the deeply scented spices filled my kitchen with heavenly aromas.
250 grams gluten-free plain flour
250 grams salted butter at room temperature
90 grams whole pecan
60 ml maple syrup
40 grams naturally sweet raisins
50 grams natural cane sugar (or light muscovado/ brown sugar)
Preheat the oven at 200˚C/ 400˚F/ Gas mark 6. Place the pecans on a baking tray and toast them until they are warmed through on all sides. Tossing them around every now and again to aid in light browning.
Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Add the pecans to a food processor and blend until coarse crumbs are formed.
Cut the butter into cubes and place it into a large mixing bowl. Add the cane sugar and beat till pale and fluffy using an electric hand mixer. Pour in the maple syrup and continue beating until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and raisins and fold in the pecan crumbs. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the creamed syrupy batter.
Place the dough onto a large sheet of cling-film. Using the cling-film roll the dough into a thick sausage about 4-5cm in diameter, seal in the cling-film, place onto a tray and refrigerate for about an hour.
Heat the oven at 160˚C/ 320˚F/ Gas mark 3. Unwrap the dough and slice it into about 16 to 18 biscuits. Place them on a baking tray lined with a greaseproof paper about 2cm apart.
Bake for 20 minutes. They will look a light butterscotch in colour, cool for about 15 minutes on the tray. Carefully lift off with a palette knife or flat spatula and serve! Don’t be shy picking up the crumbly bits.