Maple and Pecan Autumn Leaves
I had a really productive crafty day today, and if you’ve seen my previous post then you might have guessed that there was a bit of a leafy theme going on! I found this recipe for these biscuits in the November 2013 issue of Country Living magazine, and bought a set of leaf cutters to make them (which will no doubt come in handy again). The biscuits are yummy on their own but the maple buttercream is divine and makes them extra special, so well worth making that too. If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me then you’ll love them!
50g pecan nuts
200g plain flour, plus more to dust
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g light muscovado sugar
125g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
For the maple buttercream
100g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
150g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C for fan oven)/Gas mark 4. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Tip the nuts onto one of the trays and place in the oven for five minutes, or until lightly roasted. Let them cool slightly, then chop very, very finely (I did this in a food processor just to be sure!)
2. Sift together the flour and cinnamon, add the muscovado sugar and rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles crumbs. Add the chopped nuts and continue to work the mixture – it will come together as a dough.
3. On a very lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3-4mm thick. Cut out the biscuits using 3-5cm long leaf cutters. Remember to make an even number of each design if you are sandwiching them together!
4. Lay the biscuits on baking trays and bake for 15-20 minutes until a pale golden colour. Cool on the trays for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the buttercream, place the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and golden syrup in a bowl and mix together – you can do this by hand or with an electric whisk, but the mixture should be pale and creamy. Drizzle in the maple syrup and beat thoroughly.
6. The unfilled biscuits will keep for a few days in an airtight tin, but once filled, the biscuits will need to be served on the day. When ready to serve, sandwich the leaves together with the buttercream. You could dust them with some icing sugar (I forgot this bit – oops!). Enjoy!