Pecan Butter-Crunch Biscuits
These simple biscuits are lovely and buttery with a melt-in-the-mouth texture which is balanced by the crunch of the pecans. I also love the fact that the rolls freeze well, so when I get a craving for something sweet, I can slice and bake a batch in no time. I’ve also made these with pistachios and hazelnuts and they’re just as more-ish!
Makes about 40
2 cups (300g) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
80g roasted pecans, chopped
Pecan halves or slices, for topping, optional
Put the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Whiz them together for 15 seconds so they’re well mixed, then tip them out into a bowl.
Now add the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar to the processor bowl. Whiz them together for about 40 seconds until they’re creamy, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides. Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks and vanilla together in a small jug. With the motor running, drizzle the egg yolk mixture in through the feed tube and whiz until well combined with the butter and sugar. Tip the flour mixture back in and pulse it into the butter mixture with quick on/off turns (too much mixing once the flour is added can cause the biscuits to toughen when they bake.) Add the chopped pecans and very briefly pulse them in – this only needs a couple of quick bursts or the nuts will become too finely chopped.
Scrape the dough, which will be quite soft, into a bowl, then cover and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the dough firms up a bit.
Scrape the dough out onto a board and divide it in half. Lay a large sheet of foil on the bench and cover it with a sheet of baking paper. Gently roll one portion of dough into a log about 5cm in diameter. Sit the log on one edge of the baking paper and roll it up in the paper. Next, roll it so it’s wrapped in the foil, then twist the ends of the foil tightly in opposite directions so you end up with something that looks like a long bonbon. Do the same again with the remaining dough. At this stage you can freeze the logs until you need them (they keep well in the freezer for about 5 weeks; just defrost them in the fridge overnight before slicing them.) If you’re baking the biscuits the same day, chill the logs for 2-3 hours in the fridge until they’re firm enough to slice.
Preheat your oven to 150C and line one or two baking trays with baking paper. Unwrap the log (or logs) and slice into 6-7mm thick rounds. Sit the rounds on the trays, about 2cm apart and lightly press a pecan half or sliced pecans into the middle of each one, if using.
Bake the biscuits, in batches if necessary, for 25 minutes or until they’re light golden brown and feel crisp to touch. (I often take a peek at the bottom of one too, to check it’s cooked.) If your oven cooks a bit unevenly, turn the trays around halfway through the baking time and swap the shelves they are on.
When the biscuits are ready, remove them from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes. Then gently transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Store the biscuits in an airtight container, where they will keep well for at least a week; or freeze them for up to 3 weeks, and when you want them, defrost them at room temperature.