When we arrived back from Hong Kong in the New Year we headed out to the countryside to stay with my parents in order to celebrate Christmas (part 2) with them, my siblings and their partners. The tree was down by this stage, twelfth night had long gone, but that aside my parents sweetly replicated the Christmas that they had had on December 25th again for us as we were back in the UK. Anyone passing by the house would have thought we had all gone completely mad as carols were playing and mulled wine was wafting through the house. We ate turkey, wore silly cracker hats and played parlour games. My mother went to town, as usual, on the food which we all greatly devoured.
It was whilst we were lazing away the hours that I stumbled across a little pot filled with the most delicious, crumbly biscuits I had ever eaten. They were completely heavenly as well as being very addictive and perfect to nibble away at whilst having a cup of tea (we English love our tea) by the fire in the late afternoon.
It transpired that they had been sent from the US, lovingly made by a friend of my sister and her beau. Needless to say they did not last long as the whole family took a liking to them.
I urged my sister to track down the recipe so that I could try and make them myself. I had to do all the US conversions from cups to grams and somewhere along the line with my conversions they went wrong. They still tasted delicious but they were not as puff like as the originals as they were coming out of the oven a lot flatter.
Finally after a few false starts I found the right balance of the ingredients and the delicious puffs returned. They are meant to be crumbly when you bite into them and certainly not the same texture as a biscuit. In as far as they are quick to devour they are also quick to make. Big A and Little Z love to get involved and prepare them with me as they are very straightforward to make.
I rather like the idea of putting them in little packets tied with a bow and given to friends and loved ones. How impressed will the receivers of such fancies be when they taste your pecan puffs. Trust me they will be begging you for the recipe. Send them this way of course. x
Inspired by Lainy in the US
Makes around 30 (depending on size)
240g unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
120g pecan nuts, finely ground
240g plain flour, sieved
50g icing sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Finely grind the pecan nuts in a blender and place to one side.
2. Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment and again place to one side.
3. In a large bowl add the sieved flour, icing sugar and salt.
4. Add the cubed butter to the flour bowl and using your hands begin to mix the ingredients together, softening the butter into the flour as you do so. Once it all begins to come together, add the vanilla essence and the ground pecan nuts.
5. Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together form a large ball and break off small pieces, a little smaller than a hens egg, but bigger than a quails, and roll in the palm of your hands into a ball and then slightly flatten, but not so much that it is completely flat.
6. Place each pecan puff on to a baking tray so that they are well spread out. I tend to leave a couple of inches around each puff . Whilst you are preparing the puffs preheat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade.
7. Place in the oven for 16 minutes and then leave to firm up before placing them on the cooling rack. When they are completely cool sift icing sugar over the top. Voila your pecan puff is ready to be devoured.