Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Chocolate Biscuits


These last two weeks I've been spending my time between baking and running outside every time it starts snowing. And I mean that literally! I drop my oven mittens, put on my new gorgeous, baby blue,wellington boots and go out to try catching the snow flakes with my face. For me, snow is still something new and exciting and I've been learning a lot about it. First of all, I learned that if I keep moving back and forth, from a warm oven to a frozen terrace, I will get a nasty cold...snif...snif. But that was totally worth it. I've seen snow I could shape and play with, snow that feels like sand and snow that was frozen and no fun at all. And I learned that there is a thing called "black ice" that is difficult to see and extremely slippery and that I need to be careful not to fall on my behind when I walk on it.

Now, this post isn't about snow but it all started on a snowy evening, when I was snuggling on my sofa, under a duvet, watching Nigella Lawson's special Christmas cooking program on TV. Amongst other delicious things, she started making these chocolate biscuits and it was love at first sight. When I saw that dough I KNEW I had to make them. And I'll say it again... it was when I saw the dough, not the actual biscuits... which probably means I have been baking way to much this last year! So I got up, "googled" the recipe (which you can see here) and it seemed simple enough for me.

These biscuits are not too sweet and they have a crunchy, sandy texture that I love (but if you have kids or a man at home that will mean lots of crumbs all over the place). The first batch I made ended up not having any sort of topping because I run out of confectioners sugar and this was at mid-night. But they were so delicious that they all disappeared before I had time to go buy more sugar. So I made another batch and today I tried the topping on half of them. I think they are pretty damn good to eat without the toppings, and the chocolate topping is a bit too sweet for my taste, but they do look more festive for the holiday season if you add a bit of colourful sprinkles and sparkles on top.

[updated] After I posted this recipe I gave one of the biscuits with topping to Emil, who had just gotten back home from work, to try. He said and I quote: "The topping distracts from the awesomeness of the biscuit". I couldn't have said it better and completely agree, so even though it looks pretty there will be no more toppings for me!

I made a few small changes so I'll leave you here the adapted recipe (most of the description was copied from the original recipe since I still find it hard to explain this things in English at times).

For the biscuits:
250g butter (soft)
150g confectioners sugar (caster sugar in the original)
40g cocoa powder
300g plain flower
3/4 tea spoon baking powder
a pinch of salt (the original recipe says bicarbonate of soda but  that thing leaves a weird after taste)

For the topping:
2 table spoons cocoa powder
175g confectioners sugar 
60ml water (boiling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles of your choice

Pre-heat the oven to 170.C Cover 2 oven trays with cooking paper. 

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Add the flour with the salt and baking powder and keep mixing. I used my electric mixer for this and after adding the flour I got a very lumpy mixture so I finished it with my hands.

Pinch of pieces from the dough, about the size of a big walnut, roll them into balls, and then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your baking sheet (more or less 12 biscuits per tray)
The original recipe said that this dough was very sticky, but mine wasn't! Which I thought it was just perfect because I hate dough glued to my fingers. This was very, very easy to shape...oh, and delicious to eat!

Bake for 15 min. It won't feel as if they have had enough time but they will continue to cook as they cool. And they will get harder, so don't panic if they feel mushy as getting out of the oven. Let them cool on a cold surface before moving to the topping.

To make the topping, put all the ingredients, except the sprinkles, into a small sauce pan and whisk over a low heat until everything is smoothly combined. The original recipe says to leave it for 10 min, but my chocolate wasn't to warm to start with so I started topping the biscuits immediately. 

Ice 6 biscuits at a time with one table spoon of chocolate and then the sprinkles and let it cool completely.

And that's it! Easy no? And the best part is that they aren't really part of mine or Emil's Christmas traditions so I feel free to make them all year round :)

Merry Christmas and enjoy! 

all photos by me







3 comments:

  1. YUM! I am drooling over this post, makes me want to get baking right away, they look delicious! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Olá Catarina
    Encontrei o teu blog no pinterest , parabéns :)
    Já agora convido-te a conhecer o meu blog - www.donabimby.blogspot.pt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olá e obrigada pelo comentário :)

      Eu pessoalmente não tenho uma bimby, mas já lhe ouvi maravilhas, pelos meus irmãos que são grandes fãs. Vou direcioná-los para o teu blog para um pouco de inspirac,ão culinária ;)

      Delete

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