Star-Topped Christmas Chocolate Biscuits

You need to make these biscuits.

They are melt in the mouth delicious (literally).

Much like Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson‘s recipes never ever fail me (see Brownies…) and at Christmas time that’s exactly the type of recipe you need. Nigella’s Christmas biscuits are straightforward, simple, and most of all they taste fabulous. They’re a type of chocolate shortbread topped with a sweet chocolate icing and festive sprinkles of your choice. Depending on the kind of sprinkles you use, you could easily adapt these for any celebration or holiday.

I actually prefer these without any toppings at all, as the chocolate flavour really shines through, especially if you use a good quality cocoa powder. However, the icing and sprinkles just give these biscuits that little something extra; the festive touch.

Nigella uses Christmas coloured sprinkles on hers, but I loved how the little stars made me think of a clear winter’s night. In fact, I think these would be the perfect offering to Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. Just leave them on a suitably festive plate by your fireplace or Christmas tree and just wait for him to hoover up the lot. I think it’ll make a change from gingerbread and mince pies!

‘Twas the night before Christmas……


INGREDIENTS

From Nigella Christmas (or found here on her website)

I halved the recipe above and managed to make 15 cookies from the mixture, but the original recipe says it makes about 24.

FOR THE BISCUITS

125g soft unsalted butter

75g caster sugar (Peru – azucar blanca)

20g cocoa powder – good quality makes all the difference to the flavour (Peru – I used Amazona organic cocoa powder and it tasted fabulous)

150g plain flour (Peru – harina sin preparar)

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

FOR THE TOPPING

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

87g icing sugar

30ml boiling water (from a kettle)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkles of your choice!


METHOD

1. Preheat your oven to 150C fan and prepare your baking tray/s with baking parchment.

2. Cream the softened butter and sugar together in a bowl until they are completely combined into a smooth, soft mixture. Then, sift in the cocoa powder and beat through until completely combined. It’ll look like a whipped chocolate butter!

3. Then beat in the flour (sieved), baking powder and bicarbonate until you have a slightly sticky dough. I used a spoon to do all of this easily, but you could use a fancy mixer if you wanted!

4. Take the dough and roll it into ‘walnut-sized’ (says Nigella) balls and pop them onto your baking tray/s evenly spaced (they won’t really spread at all). Press them gently into ‘fat discs’ and then put them in the oven.

5. Bake them for about 15 minutes and then remove them. They will still be soft, so be careful, but they’ll harden as they cool. Don’t worry of they crack on the top, that’s what they’re supposed to look like.

6. Leave them in their trays to cool first for about 15 minutes and then remove the biscuits to a cooling rack, with newspaper underneath (this is for the decorating), to finish.

7. For the icing, put the icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and boiling water into a little saucepan. Whisk over a low heat until everything is combined and then leave aside to cool slightly for 10 minutes.

8. Once ready use a little spoon to drizzle the icing over the biscuits, a few at a time, and top with sprinkles. Don’t try and ice all of the biscuits before adding the sprinkles or it might harden too much for the sprinkles to stick.

9. Enjoy! But make sure you save a few for Father Christmas!


And to finish.....

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