oat and pistachio biscuits

© Lydia, punge.blogspot.co.uk

Ahhhh oats. Oaty oat oats. They're amazing and I love them.

There's hardly a dearth of oat biscuit recipes out there, with plenty of variations on the glorious gooey oat cookie and the humble yet sustaining flapjack. There's even oaty biscuits that end up being quite cakey.

My lovely neighbour brought over some homemade oat biscuits like no other I'd ever eaten. Instead of the usual cakey / gooey cookies these were crispy and crunchy with a good chewiness on the inside. They were heaven. One day I'll ask her for the recipe but in the meantime I decided to try and figure out how they were done.

The "Advanced Bread and Pastry" book (my personal baking bible) kindly lists how different ingredients affect the final biscuit (or any baked good for that matter). For a crispy, snappy biscuit it's important to have either very low or a very high sugar content with the granules being as large as possible to minimise its hydroscopic properties,  not to have too much fat, and not to beat too much air into the mixture - the less the better. A lower temperature for a longer time will also help to dry them out. It was also suggested to use a higher gluten flour (like bread flour) as the gluten will help to keep the mix a little drier and prevent it from spreading. With this in mind I put together what I thought would be a good recipe and chucked a few pistachios in there for good measure (why not?).

While these didn't turn out like my neighbours', I now have a better idea what to try next time (far less butter, possibly no flour), and these were amazingly moreish. Fancy a biscuit? Better take three. Just don't kid yourself that they're healthy!

© Lydia, punge.blogspot.co.uk

Lydia's Oat & Pistachio cookies - makes about 22
220g (8 oz, 1 cup) butter or margarine
275g (1¼ cup) granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g (⅓ cup) bread flour
300g (3⅓ cups) oats
75g (½ cup) pistachios (roasted and salted, about 150g in shells)

Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan oven, 300°F, increase by 10°C or 20°F for gas ovens, gas mark 2-3) and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment

Chop a third of the pistachios and leave the rest whole.

Mix the butter and sugar together by hand until just combined - you don't want to incorporate much air.

Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract, then beat in the flour.

Fold in the oats and pistachios (both chopped and not).

Shape into rounds about 2 inches in diameter and just under an inch thick.

Bake for about 60 minutes until lightly browned and you can lift it off the sheet cleanly with a knife and the cookie has firmed up.

Cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

© Lydia, punge.blogspot.co.uk

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