These unassuming-looking biscuits might not make it into the window display of smart cafes, but I can guarantee they're the kind of treat pastry chefs are nibbling behind the scenes. Chock-full of fruit and seeds, they're a textural treat – crispy, chewy, soft and nutty all at once. The biscuits are best eaten the day they're baked, but you can freeze the uncooked dough balls and bake them from frozen; just allow an extra minute or two in the oven.
35g pumpkin seeds
75g rolled oats
75g plain flour
50g wholemeal spelt flour
20g golden linseeds
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
⅛ tsp salt
120g vegan spread (or butter)
50g light brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
finely grated zest of 1 small orange
30g raisins, roughly chopped
30g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional) and line two oven trays with baking paper.
2. Pour the pumpkin seeds and oats into a food processor and pulse 8-10 times until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and add the flours, linseeds, nutmeg, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix to combine, then set aside.
3. Place the buttery spread, sugar, golden syrup and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined and light. Add the dry ingredients from step 2 and continue to mix on low speed until the dough just comes together.
4. Add the raisins and cranberries and mix for another few seconds to combine, then tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently to just bring the dough together, then pinch off pieces (about 30g) and roll into balls slightly larger than golf balls. (If your dough is very soft, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up a little.)
5. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking trays, spaced 5-6cm apart to allow room for spreading. (You may need to bake them in batches.) Place the trays into the preheated oven and bake for 16-17 minutes, until the biscuits are light golden brown – the edges should be firm, but the middle still slightly soft.
6. Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for 5 minutes to firm up before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: I've used a non-dairy spread and golden syrup, but if you're not vegan, feel free to use butter or honey as substitutes.