Autumn days, as the grass is jeweled…

Does anyone else remember this song? I have very happy childhood memories of belting it out at primary school. Autumn is definitely here and whilst the grass here oop north is best described as completely sodden rather than jeweled, I do still rather like this time of year with that ‘new pencil case’ kind of feeling.

There’s a distinct chill in the air and I’ve been working on some woolly hats and hand warmers which I’ll hopefully get in the shop over the weekend. Things have been very busy PhD-wise over the last few weeks and so every thing else apart from bits of knitting time snatched here and there have been rather on hold. One thing I have been making time for though is the Great British Bake Off, have you been watching it too? Mr Purly Queen has taken to calling one of the contestants my new boyfriend as I’m always raving about his amazing real Shetland fair-isle jumpers! (And he’s not too shabby in the baking department either).

GBBO James: Look at that fair isle!

Speaking of baking, last week my lovely friend Liz came to visit at PQ Towers and I wanted to try out a recipe for some biscuits that my sister had sent me. My sister works in My Favourite Shop In The World TM and one of the perks is that they get lots of foodie magazines into the shop for inspiration. She spotted some gluten-free recipes and kindly sent them on to me. There was one recipe that caught my eye immediately: Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Cookies! I luuuuurve Peanut Butter and thought they would be a perfect autumn recipe to scoff down over a cup of tea and a natter. The recipe originally comes from Jamie magazine and I made some tweaks to it to use up what I had in the cupboards. (By the way Jamie, if you’re reading, and I’m sure you are, spelt flour isn’t gluten free. It has very low levels of gluten and great for people who struggle with wheat but if you can’t tolerate any gluten at all like me, it’s a no-no).

Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Cookies

(Makes between 12 and 24 biccies depending on how big you make them)

300g Gluten-Free flour (I use Dove’s Farm)

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

3/4 tsp of fine sea salt

250g chunky peanut butter

150 ml honey

100ml molasses (The recipe suggests 250ml Maple Syrup instead of the honey and molasses. Molasses has the benefit of being really good for you but is an absolute bugger to get out of the jar)

100ml extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Sea salt flakes to finish

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ Gas Mark 4 (or if you’ve got a temperamental oven like mine, just put the dial somewhere in the middle and hope for the best). Line your baking sheets with some baking parchment.

2. Combine the flour, bicarb and fine salt in a mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl (which should be a bit bigger than the first one), stir the peanut butter, honey, molasses, olive oil and vanilla extract. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined. It should look a bit dusty looking. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then stir again.

4. Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture on your baking sheets and press down with a the back of a fork.

5. Bake the biscuits for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the sea salt flakes. Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!

The Mad Spaniel is outraged that the scrummy biscuits aren’t for her!

Yum! Does the Autumn weather make you want to bake more? What have you been baking recently?

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