My boyfriend claimed the other night that I’m “always” trying to get out of making this particular recipe, from Baking by Martha Day, which is a complete lie! So, I thought I’d prove him wrong by simply baking them.
The name ‘spicy pepper biscuits’ suggests these are savoury treats, but they are actually sweet with a strong savoury edge. And they’re extremely delicious. The sweetness comes from the brown sugar, almonds and vanilla extract, while the spiciness is created with allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and that all-important pepper.
The texture of the biscuits in this batch are more cookie-like than biscuit-like; the recipe calls for an awful lot of butter and a dash of cream, and requires the dough to be shaped into balls, which I think means it’s inevitable that the middles will be a little soft.
I’m not sure I’ve got these spot-on, as the picture in the book suggests they should be a lot smoother. However, I had to grind the almonds myself in my not-very-good food processor, so they weren’t as fine as I would have liked. I also had to use my Argos value electric mixer, which on its lowest setting is far too fast for my liking. So, it’s possible I didn’t mix the dough enough to create the texture needed for these.
It’s an odd one, because when I took these out of the oven, some of them had retained their compact, round shape (the ones shown in the pics) like they were supposed to, while others had completely flattened and were starting to caramelise around the edges.
Despite all that, these really are tasty. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this bake, it’s that I should put a new, quality mixer (preferably with a bowl) and food processor at the top of my list when I’m next shopping for baking tools.
I also really need a camera suitable for taking drool-worthy close-ups of my baking efforts; please let me know of any recommendations!