These are great for the all too many festive gatherings that are before us this month (if you’re celebrating Christmas) and are perfect pulled out at the end of the meal when you don’t want to offer something heavy and full on. They’re incredibly light and airy and in no way chewy or hard (that isn’t a bad thing however) and due to the high butter content, are melt in the mouth. The rich dark cocoa within this mixture is a tad clawing and all consuming (in the very best way) so I would suggest having these with a cup of tea or coffee or even better, Baileys.
While these aren’t overly strenuous, they do call for a good hour or so of workshop rolling but I love any repetitive work as I find it rests the mind. So perhaps pop on a few Christmas tunes or a movie and get rolling. If you’re like me however, do it in relative silence which can be greedily relished at this often too stressful time of year…
I’d apologise for the name, but I won’t. Perfect time for alliteration and over-the-topness. If not now. when?
250 grams unsalted butter at room temperature (very important)
1 cup of self raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup of dark cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tbs milk (may not be needed, depends on the day, the temperature, if the moons of Uranus are aligned…)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
10 grams of butter
2 tbs dark cocoa powder
1-2 tbs just boiled water (it will depend on how thick you want your glaze)
festive sprinkles (optional but I mean, come on)
Makes roughly 40 biscuits
I’ve based this roughly on a Nigella Lawson recipe but I’ve made a few changes. For the original please refer here https://www.nigella.com/recipes/christmas-chocolate-biscuits
First, set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line 4 baking trays with grease-proof baking paper. Set aside and get on with making the biscuits.
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla and beat together until the mixture is completely smooth and you’ve incorporated a lot of air into the mixture. This will help the biscuits reach their optimal crispness.
Next, sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together.
Carefully combine all the ingredients until you have a fluffy and smooth dough. It won’t be stiff at all like usual biscuit dough, but don’t panic, it’s part of it’s charm. Set the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and let it rest. Have one yourself.
Take the slightly chilled dough from the fridge and roll small teaspoon sized balls. The mixture will still be soft but it should still come together easily and roll fine. If you want you can wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean.
Evenly space the balls on a tray, leaving enough room for them to spread. With the tips of your fingers, gently press on the top of each biscuit to flatten them slightly.
Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are browned. Let them cool on the tray and don’t be tempted to move them to a wire rack as they will be too fragile.
While the biscuits cool, move onto your chocolate glaze.
In a medium sized bowl, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together, ensuring there are no lumps.
Next add a splash of vanilla or if you would prefer, use peppermint essence for a choc-mint hit.
Add your lump of softened butter.
And slowly pour in the boiling water. I always eye-ball this but please do as I say not as I do.
Mix together until there are no lumps and the glaze is pourable but thick.
Spoon teaspoonfuls of the glaze onto each cooled biscuit. You can go as soft or heavy handed as you like here, personal preference.
While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with festive sprinkles.
Allow the glaze to set before storing in an airtight container or arrange on a plate. Or shove in your mouth.
Christmas time is always a great excuse to potter around the kitchen and these are a great option to waste a few hours of peaceful baking to get you into the Christmas mood.