Apricot and Nut Crunchies
You can almost imagine sneaking in to quickly grab one of these from under the cook's nose. But you don't have to tiptoe around to enjoy these fantastically moreish biscuits for this recipe is, quite literally, kids' stuff – one of the quickest, easiest, and simplest recipes of all, and perhaps the best news is that the basic recipe is supremely adaptable, so you can alter it to more or less any combination of nuts, fruits, and spices that you want. Two options are Cherry and Almond Crunchies or Raisin and Spice Crunchies.
This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Baking
| 4 oz (110 g) dried ready-to-eat apricots, snipped|
| 4 oz (110 g) butter|
| 3 oz (75 g) demerara sugar|
| 1 dessertspoon golden syrup or runny honey|
| 4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour|
| 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon|
| pinch salt|
| 4 oz (110 g) porridge oats |
|For the topping: |
| 1 oz (25 g) ready-to-eat dried apricots, snipped|
| ½ oz (10 g) pecan nuts, toasted and chopped|
| Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).|
|You will also need two large baking sheets, lightly greased or with liners.|
The easiest way to deal with the ready-to-eat apricots is to snip them into small pieces with scissors, so do this first. Now put the butter and sugar into a small saucepan and add the syrup or honey. The best way to do this is to warm the dessertspoon under a hot running tap, take the amount of syrup you need on the spoon and literally push it off with a spatula into the pan. Next place the saucepan on a gentle heat and allow the sugar, butter and syrup to dissolve.
Meanwhile sift the flour, cinnamon and salt into a mixing bowl, then add the porridge oats and snipped apricots. Mix everything evenly and, when the butter, sugar and syrup have melted, pour this in to join the rest. Now, using a wooden spoon, stir and mix everything very thoroughly, then switch from the spoon to your hands to bring everything together to form a dough. If it seems a bit dry, add a few drops of cold water.
Now take lumps of the dough the size of a walnut and roll them into rounds using the flat of your hand. Place them on a worktop and press gently to flatten them out into rounds 2½ inches (6 cm) in diameter, then scatter the snipped apricots and chopped pecans on top and press these gently in. Then, using a palette knife, transfer half the biscuits on to a greased baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
While they cook, prepare the second batch of biscuits and place these on your other baking sheet. When the biscuits are ready, leave them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire tray to finish cooling. Store the biscuits in a sealed container – if you have any left!