Thursday, 26 May 2011

Coffee and pecan biscuits

American readers are probably expecting something very different because of the word 'biscuit', but your understanding of the word is somewhat different from ours. To you, this recipe is probably better described as 'cookies'.

Yet another recipe cut from the pages of some or other magazine. I certainly seem to have read more magazines in my younger days than I do now. Mind you, the big selling magazines around these days are all gossip-and-celebrity, and I have no great interest in that sphere.

Oven temperature


220g flour
125g butter, cubed
60ml sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
5ml vanilla extract

Pecan cream
60g butter
60ml icing sugar, sifted
80g pecan nuts, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
10ml milk

Coffee icing
375ml icing sugar, sifted
5ml butter at room temperature
15ml instant coffee powder
15ml boiling water
20ml milk

Cut with a biscuit cutter
  • Sift flour into a mixing bowl and rub in butter until you have a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add sugar, egg and vanilla extract and mix to form a soft dough.
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thickness. I do this directly on my counter tops. And if you don't have a rolling pin, use a clean wine bottle (you can even drink the wine first, if you like!).
  • Cut out rounds using a 60mm plain biscuit cutter. If you don't have one, use a clean napkin ring or something along those lines. I used the top end of my cookie gun. You should get about 26-30 biscuits. Make sure you have an even number.
  • Place on a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until light golden brown.
  • Cool on wire cooling racks while you get on with other things.
Pecan cream
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add icing sugar and beat well.
  • Add chopped pecan nuts and milk and mix well.
  • When the biscuits are cool (and not a moment before, or it won't work), spread this over half the biscuits and then pop another biscuit on top to make a sandwich. You can afford to be pretty lavish with this, there is a fair amount of it.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you get on with the coffee icing.
Coffee icing
  • Place icing sugar, butter and milk into the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Don't fret, I don't have one either, so I balance a smallish Pyrex dish on top of a saucepan. The handles of the Pyrex dish are wide enough so that it doesn't fall into the saucepan. There should be enough boiling water in the saucepan so that the bottom of the Pyrex dish is just in the water, but not so much that the water slops over the edge of the Pyrex into the icing sugar.
  • Dissolve the coffee in the 15ml of boiling water and add to the mixture.
  • Stir the mixture over simmering water until it is completely smooth.
  • Spread over the top of each biscuit. Once again, you can afford to be generous, here. This icing will set quite quickly, so I work directly out of the 'double boiler' as I ice the biscuits.
  • Decorate each one with half a pecan, or a glace cherry or whatever takes your fancy. This is of course an entirely optional step.

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