It's blowing such a gale outside that none of us have had any appetite to go out for our usual Saturday afternoon walk. I can't imagine what it's like for the folk caught in the Atlantic gales up in Northern Scotland. I loved the coast guard's description of how his window panes up in Stornaway were inhaling and exhaling with each gasp of the storm on the news the other morning.
So, in a bid to hide from the weather, we've cosied up indoors and done a spot of nesting. There's nothing to beat a cosy time on the sofa with a good book, some hot tea and nice stash of crunchy biscuits. My tea of choice these days is Punjana, which is what just about everyone in Ulster drinks. It's a wonderfully strong, copper coloured beauty that's a delight for anyone who enjoys robust Indian teas. And these little mamas were my biscuits of choice this afternoon. They're wicked!
If you'd like to make them they're also super quick and easy, and the ingredients are all work-a-day things that you're likely to have in your larder already - so, with any luck, you can avoid going out into the horrible weather.
Here's what you'll need to make about 14, 3 inch/ 7.5 cm diameter biscuits:
100 g/ 4 oz salted butter
75g/ 3 oz soft, dark brown sugar
25g/ 1 oz golden syrup
1 tablespoonful of crunchy peanut butter
grated rind of 1 large clementine
100g/ 4 oz of plain cake-making flour
1 teaspoonful of baking powder
50 g/ 2 oz of rolled oats
25g/ 1 oz of finely chopped salted peanuts
And here's how you make them:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 160º C/ 325º F/ Gas Mark 3.
2. Line a couple of baking trays with some baking parchment.
3. In a small saucepan over a very gentle heat melt the butter, sugar, syrup and peanut butter, stirring the mixture gently to get an even liquid consistency.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the finely grated clementine rind and the rolled oats. Mix everything together until it is uniform.
5. Add the wet ingredients from the saucepan to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and give it all a good old stir to get a consistent, uniform mixture.
6. Using a teaspoon divide the mixture into 14 or 15 round balls. Place each ball onto the baking parchment and push down gently with the back of the spoon to make round discs of about 1 cm thickness. They will spread a bit during cooking so leave a space between the biscuits that's at least 3 or 4 cm so that they can stretch out without conjoining.
7. Sprinkle the finely chopped peanuts on top of the biscuits, pushing them very gently into the biscuit dough.
8. Place the biscuits in the oven for about 20 minutes, until they've reached a lovely golden brown biscuit colour. Remove and leave to cool on a wire cooling tray.
Now go and put the kettle on for a nice cup of Rosie Lee. You've earned it!
All the best for now,