Friday, January 21

Chocolate, walnut, & oat biscuits


It is so hot right now. It's so hot that after three hours of sitting at room temperature the chocolate on these biscuits has not solidified. When I go to pick one up and end up with melted chocolate all over my hands, not that that's a bad thing, it's just is messy.

In heat like this I'm mad to have the oven on to begin with, especially in a house that lacks all forms of air-conditioning. I don't even own a fan. However, I'm not one to resist a craving for chocolate chip biscuits. There are times when not having chocolate chip biscuits is worse than heatstroke.

Apparently I'm never allowed to make these again as, according to J, they are "too delicious" and it's "impossible not to eat the whole batch". If that's not a seal of approval, I don't know what is. It's safe to say what these biscuits lack in beauty they more than amply make up for in taste.

Chocolate, walnut, & oat biscuits

(from Tartine by E. M. Prueitt & C. Robertson)
makes about twenty-four 6 cm (2 1/2 inch) biscuits

170g (6 oz) bitter-sweet chocolate
145g (1 cup) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
85g (1 cup) traditional rolled oats
115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
175g (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons treacle
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g (1/2 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped

Coarsely chop the chocolate into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) pieces using a serrated knife. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and chill in the freezer until required.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and oats.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed until light and creamy. Slowly add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light in the mixture is fluffy and light in colour. Stop the mixer and scrape down the slides as required. Add the treacle and beat until well combined. Add the egg and combine well. Beat in the milk, vanilla, and salt, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until well incorporated. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, then fold in the chocolate and walnuts using a spatula.

Turn the dough out on to a surface covered in baking paper. Shape it into a log about 4cm (1 1/2 inches) in diameter. Wrap the log in baking paper or cling wrap and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two flat trays with baking paper.

Remove the dough from the freezer and slice it into 1/3cm (1/4 inch) rounds and arrange on the lined baking trays about 4cm (1 1/4 inches) apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly browned but the centres remain pale. Cool on trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Tuesday, January 11

Walnut & cinnamon slices

walnut & cinnamon slices

Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits. How I love to snack on you. When I should probably make myself a healthy, tasty lunch, you fill the void and allow me to keep on doing whatever it is I'm doing. How hard it is to get through a working day when I know I had you all ready to come with me to work but I stupidly let you on the bench. It's saddening knowing that you're sitting at home, all wrapped up and ready.

Obviously I made biscuits the other day, and then I meant to take them to work but I forgot them and it was all very sad. Well, not that sad really because I just ate them when I got home.

These biscuits are really quite nice, the flavours are quite simple and the nuts add a lovely texture. You could any nuts you choose for this recipe and if I were to make them again I should incorporate in some macadamias. I think that would be sublime.


Because these biscuits are simple, they go wonderfully with tea or coffee. Though it could be argued that I think almost everything is enhanced by a cup of something considering just how regularly I use the words "goes well with tea/coffee" both here on this blog and in real life. That being said, don't stop yourself enjoying with with hot chocolate or a plain ol' glass of milk. In fact, these biscuits are perfectly good without any kind of drink.

This is the first recipe I've made from Tartine, a book I acquired recently after many months of simply forgetting to purchase it. I'm very glad it's finally on my book shelf and I think in the next coming months it's going to get quite a work out. I'm excited, I hope you're excited too.

Walnut & cinnamon slices

(from Tartine by E. M. Prueitt & C. Robertson)
Makes about 36 biscuits

255g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
150g (5 1/2 oz) butter, at room temperature
130g (2/3 cup) sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
85g (3/4 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped

Sugar coating

2 egg yolks
30ml (2 tablespoons) heavy cream
200g (1 cup) sugar

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda into a mixing bowl, then set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until it is blended and creamy but not too aerated. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and salt. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture, still beating on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat until a dough forms. Switch off the mixer and stir the walnuts through.

Turn the down on to a baking tray lined the baking paper. Form into a rectangle about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Line a tray with baking paper.

Unwrap the rectangle of dough and, using a sharp knife, slice lengthwise into 5cm (2 inch) wide rectangular logs. To make the sugar coating, whisk the egg yolks and cream together in a small bowl. Spread the sugar on a baking tray. Brush the logs well but sparingly with the egg wash. One at a time, dredge the longs in the sugar, coating evenly on all sides. Cut crosswise into 1/4 cm (1/8 inch) - 1/2cm (1/4 inch) thick slices. Arrange the rectangles on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the biscuits until the edges are golden but the centres remain pale, about 7 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and let cool.