I had the perfect autumn day today. It was a fresh crisp day, with a little drizzle in the air. I put my wellies on and went to the park for a little brisk walk. The leaves were all shades of gold and red and the dogs were playing in the mud. You get the picture! Once back home, I baked these maple syrup shortbread biscuits, just in time for Bonfire Night. They are great with a cup of steaming hot ginger and lemon tea!
I have been planning to bake some maple syrup biscuits for some time, but it took me a while to find the right recipe. Mine is based on the traditional 1-2-3 shortbread recipe, but it replaces sugar with pure maple syrup and adjusts butter and flour accordingly. As maple syrup is liquid, the biscuit is less crumbly than a traditional shortbread.
What makes or breaks these biscuits is the quality of the ingredients, so it’s worth using the best quality ingredients you can afford. Make sure that you use pure Canadian maple syrup (I used Shady Maple Farms’ organic 100% pure maple syrup). I used salted butter because I like to counter-balance the sweetness of the maple syrup; however, that’s just a matter of taste and unsalted butter will work just as well.
For a good result, temperature is also key. The butter must be very soft before you start making the dough, or it won’t become creamy enough to mix properly with the maple syrup. That’s why it’s a good idea to dice it and work it on its own, before incorporating the maple syrup. Once the dough is mixed, on the other hand, you want to keep it cool to make sure that the biscuits keep their shape in the oven. . If it is a hot day, you may need to leave the biscuits in the freezer for 15 minutes after cutting them to make sure that they hold their shape in the oven.
Ingredients (for 8 large biscuits)
- 100ml pure maple syrup
- 180g butter, diced and soft
- 275g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
How to make them
- Beat 180g of butter, diced and soft, and 100ml maple syrup with an electric mixer until smooth (this will take about 3-5 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, stir together 275g of plain flour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Using a spatula, gradually fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture until completely incorporated.
- Squeeze the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably two).
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC / Gas 4 (ventilated). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof baking paper.
- Dust the work surface with a little flour and gently roll the dough out to about 8mm-1cm thick. Cut into leaf shapes using a biscuit cutter.
- Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet and sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of brown sugar. If it is a hot day, leave in the freezer for 15 minutes to make sure that the biscuits hold their shape when baking.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. The larger and thicker the biscuits, the longer they may need in the oven. Once they are pale golden and firm and no longer stick to the greaseproof paper, remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.