Monday, 20 February 2012
I have an elderly friend that I like to visit on Sunday Evenings most weeks. I always like to bring her a little treat. Some weeks it may be some muffins . . . other times a cake, it all depends on what I feel like baking and what I have in the larder. It is always very much appreciated. We spend a cosy hour together, chatting and I see it as a win/win all round. We get to enjoy the pleasure of each other's company and she gets to enjoy a bit of a sweet treat . . .
She really is a dear friend. One of the first that I made when I moved over here 11 1/2 years ago. In truth I would do anything for her, but she is very independant, and likes to do for herself . . . so baking something nice for her to enjoy and spending some time with her is probably as much as she would ever accept from me, although I do try from time to time to do more.
Today I was able to bring her these tasty little morsels. Buttery and redolent with the wonderful flavours of cinnamon and toasted pecans. They smell gorgeous when they are baking, and always elicit great oo-oo's when people open up the biscuit tin to see what's inside.
Simple, easy and impressive . . . to say the least.
*Cinnamon Nut Crispies*
Makes about 2 dozen
These smell heavenly when baking. Impressive to look at, they will have people thinking you have slaved over them for hours, but in reality they are very simple and quick to make. Do allow them to cool completely before you dig in. They crisp up wonderfully as they cool and are moreishly scrumptious!
4 ounces (1/2 cup) superfine sugar
10 ounces (2 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
4 ounces (8 TBS) vegetable shortening
about 2 TBS water
3 TBS softened butter
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 TBS finely chopped pecan nuts
2 TBS Demerara sugar
For the Glaze:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
the juice of half a lemon
a bit of milk as needed
Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Whisk together. Add the vegetable fat and rub it in with your fingertips until you have a fairly chunky mixture, with some pieces of fat about pea sized remaining. Add the water a little bit at a time, only adding enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough briefly and then roll it out on a lightly floured board to a rectangle about 16 by 10 1/2 inches in size.
Spread the softened butter evenly over top of the dough. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nuts together and then sprinkle this evenly over top of the butter. Starting at one long side, roll the dough up tightly. Seal the edge with a little water dabbed over the edge and pressing it together.
Using a sharp knife cut the roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices on the lined baking sheets, leaving a space between them for spreading. Sprinkle some demerara sugar over top of each.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar and milk together, only adding enough milk to make a drizzable glaze. Drizzle this over the cooled biscuits in a decorative manner. Allow to set before storing in an airtight container.
Cooking in The Cottage today, Chili Dog Enchiladas.