Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Maple Pecan Swirls

These are excellent dunking cookies. So much so that they really fall into, at least as I see it, the English biscuit category. They have almost a shortbread cookie consistency. They do take a bit of time, but mostly because the dough needs to be chilled for at least 6 hours (or overnight) in order to preserve the structural integrity of the pecan swirls. Fancy, right?

What you'll need for the cookie dough (makes 2 dozen cookies):

  • 330g flour (GF blend or any all-purpose flour)
  • 120ml maple syrup
  • 120g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 20g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

What you'll need for the filling:

  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g chopped pecans
  • 50g light brown sugar

What to do:

Blend the maple syrup, butter, 20g light brown sugar, vanilla, and egg together in a mixing bowl with a handheld mixer. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and continue to use the handheld mixer as you do so. The finished cookie dough will be quite thick - very like what you would expect for sugar cookies. Once the dough has been blended thoroughly, you should be able to shape one large dough ball out of it.

Next comes the fun rolling pin part. Lightly flour a working surface and roll the dough ball into a rectangular shape. You may want to split the ball in two and do this twice.

In a small bowl, mix together the filling ingredients - the pecans, 50g light brown sugar, and the remaining ground cinnamon and ginger. Then evenly spread this filling mixture onto the dough rectangle, leaving a bit of space free at the edges, as you can see below:

Lightly pat the pecan filling mixture down on the dough, to help it stay in place. Then very slowly and carefully begin rolling the dough onto itself - as you would when making cinnamon rolls. Start from the longer side of the rectangle.

Once you have rolled the dough into a log shape, pinch the ends together a bit so no filling leaks out, then wrap the dough log in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

When the dough is finished with its refrigeration process, slice approximately 1 centimeter wide from the dough log using a sharp knife. Evenly space the cookies slices on a baking tray (I used parchment paper, but that's not necessary if you're working with a non-stick cookie sheet.). 

Allow your oven to 180C/350F, then bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes once out of the oven.  These are not super sweet cookies, but have more of a gentle maple-y sweetness that I think is well suited to a nice afternoon treat. These Maple Pecan Swirls are also excellent edible companions for your next cup of tea, hot cocoa, or coffee.

Hope you enjoy!

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