Orange blossoms are my favourite flowers. I have an immense & immortal version in the garden which makes me smile every year with its beautiful blossoms and amazing scent. Early June is the classic time for these flowers to open – they have what is for me a timeless scent, instantly evocative of childhood and home. Some floral scents you can bottle – roses and lavender and lilies all have their artificial analogues but a proper mock orange blossom like this one? I’ve never found a perfume that captures their scent, it’s only really available straight from the flower for a vanishingly short period of time every year. All the more precious and ephemeral. I could start musing on the nature of time and how it seems to pass faster every day, but I won’t. I’ll get work done as quickly as I can so I can sit under the orange blossom and enjoy today’s moment. (And that, my lovely people, is about as Zen as I get and probably means it’s about to rain any moment!)
I was in a rush yesterday morning but wanted to make some biscuits. Here they are.
Maple, Peanut and Cinnamon Biscuits (Makes around 20 – original recipe here)
- 200g salted butter, softened
- 50g peanut butter
- 140g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp maple extract
- 300g plain flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 50g chopped peanuts
- Pinch sea salt
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
- Mix softened butter, peanut butter & caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
- add egg yolk, vanilla extract & maple extract and briefly beat to combine.
- Sift over plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined – you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.
- Stir through the chopped peanuts and sea salt.
- Scoop the mixture into 20 large balls onto a non-stick baking sheet. Space well apart, as they will spread.
- Flatten slightly with a fork, rotating to give the cross-hatch shown in the photos.
- Bake for 12-15 mins, then transfer the soft, warm cookies to a cooling rack to firm up.