Raisin Hazelnut 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. Other options are Cherry and Flaked Almond Crunchies, Apricot and Pecan Crunchies or Choclate Almond Crunchies - see end of method for quantites.
This recipe is from Delia's Vegetarian Collection. Makes 18
First of all, put the butter, sugar and syrup into a small saucepan, place it on the gentlest heat possible and let it all dissolve, which will take 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the nuts into small chunks. When the butter mixture has dissolved, take it off the heat. Then, in a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt and the porridge oats and half the raisins and nuts, then give this a quick mix before pouring in the butter mixture. Now, using a wooden spoon, stir and mix everything together, 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 half the dough and divide it into 9 lumps 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 half the remaining raisins and nuts on top of the biscuits pressing them down lightly. Once you have filled one tray (give them enough room to spread out during baking), bake them in the oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the second tray. When they're all cooked, leave them to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire tray to finish cooling. You could store the biscuits in a sealed container, but I doubt you'll have any left!
To make Cherry and Almond Crunchies
Use 2 oz (50g) of dried sour cherries and 1.5 oz (40g) of flaked almonds instead of the raisings and hazelnuts
To make Apricot and Pecan Crunchies
Use 2 oz (50 g) of ready-to-eat dried apricots and 1.5 oz (40g) of pecans
To make Chocolate Almond Crunchies
Use 2 oz (50 g) of dark continental chocolate and 1.5 oz (40 g) whole unblanced almonds
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).
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