These biscuits will always feel special to me. I can still remember when I first made them for my family in Jersey when my little niece was only little (not that being four now is all that big, but you know, she was much littler). They were so delicious, eaten in about 5 minutes flat, and the house smelled of maple glaze for the rest of the day. It was everything you want a biscuit to be (unless you can come up with a way to make them entirely negative calories, then that would be everything I would want them to be!).
I love that I wrote the recipe on my niece's etch-sketch and considered not even writing it up properly, but that would be cruel, my scrawl is hardly legible, and these are definitely in the "need to know" pile.
And here is for the slightly more coherent version....
(2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons maple syrup (or flavouring but the syrup is incredible)
3/4 cup of butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 oz (2 cups) of pecans, chopped coarsely
1. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda.
2. In a food processor, pulse granulated sugar and brown sugar (i'm not sure why, but just follow the method, you won't regret it).
3. Add the maple syrup and pulse for about 20 seconds
4. In separate bowl, cream butter for a few minutes until pale and soft. Add the sugar in three additions. Beat well for another few minutes.
5. Add the egg, vanilla and remaining maple syrup and mix until just combined.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
7. Add the chopped pecans to the mixture and stir through until even dispersed but not overly smooth
8. Roll into two smooth logs and wrap tightly in cling film.
9. Refridgerate for 2 hours (or if you are impatient, pop in the freezer for half an hour).
10. When the log is sufficiently cool, it should be quite firm, and easy to cut.
11. Use a cerated knife and cut slices of the logs, about 1.5cm thick.
12. Place on baking tray and bake in a moderate oven (180C/350) for 18 minutes, or until lightly
golden brown (not 15, not even 20, but eighteen minutes).
While these cool slightly, prepare the maple glaze (MANDATORY).
13. Whisk together 3/4 cup of icing sugar with 1/4 cup of maple syrup until a smooth consistency. If it gets too thick, you can add a little hot water to the mixture as you go.
14. While the cookies are still warm, use a pastry brush to spread the glaze over each biscuit. It will set within about one minute (which in itself is a reason to glaze things, so much fun to watch things set so quickly, which really, seems to be going against the nature of putting runny objects on top of hot ones....miraculous stuff).
Have two or three set aside before giving them to the vultures, you will not see the plate come back with any biscuits left, I promise (and if you do, get new friends, yours have terrible taste!!).
This are the kind of biscuit that you will want to make a double batch of to have one log frozen on standby, for emergency situations. Being able to defrost a log and bake at a moments notice would be impressive even if they were just regular butter cookies, but, when your un-announced friends taste these crisply-glazed but yet doughy and sweet biscuits, they will be sure to drop by announced every time, hoping that you haven't prepared anything else!!!
They are that good.