Tuesday 26 April 2016

Biscuit Double-Bill - Chocolate Shortbread and Oat'n'Raisin Cookies

The biggest problem with holidays is that food is basically on tap, and when you're doing 2-3,000 metres of climbing on the bike each day, your appetite is a little crazy. We got back on Saturday, and I've had real snack-cravings since...so I made biscuits!

The first batch was some chocolate shortbread, using a variation of the recipe I used in January. I replaced some of the flour with cocoa powder, and then made half plan, and half with chocolate chips. I think my biggest error was I rolled them too thin (5mm), and so they were too crumbly, and very slightly burnt (the eternal danger of chocolate, you can never visually tell when it's done). Still, they went down well. I've never rolled shortbread before, I've normally made a slab, and then cut it afterwards. I also used a food processor for these, rather than rub in the butter.

The second batch was a tweak on something I've done before, but not documented...american-style cookies. These were oat and raisin (being what I had in the house), and came out far better. I normally struggle to make melt-style biscuits look decent, but this time I rolled the balls fairly well, and they baked well. I think this might be the first time I did them onto baking parchment, so perhaps that helped as well?

Chocolate Shortbread Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 160'C
  • Line baking trays with baking parchment


  • 195g plain flour
  • 225g butter (at room temperature)
  • 100g semolina
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • Chocolate Chips (optional)

1) Put all the ingredients in a food processor (except chocolate chips, if you are using them), and whizz until a dough starts to form (if will go breadcrumb-y first, then start to clump)

2) Turn out into a large bowl, and using your hands form a ball of dough

3) On a floured surface, roll out to the desired thickness (I went to 5mm, but I would recommend something thicker)

4) Using a circular cutter (I used 6cm and 5cm diameter) cut out rounds, and place on the baking tray. Re-roll cut-offs to get more biscuits

5) (optional) Press some chocolate chips into the biscuits

6) Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes.

7) Remove to a wire rack to cool

Oat and Raisin Cookies

  • Pre-heat oven to 170'C
  • Line 3 baking trays with baking parchment


  • 250g plain flour
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½tsp salt
  • 170g butter (softened)
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 140g raisins (or sultanas)
  • 140g rolled oats
1) Put the softened butter (it wants to be really soft), and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Mix hard until soft and light

3) Add in the egg and egg yolk, and again mix hard to produce a creamy mixture

4) Add in the flour, bicarbonate and salt, and mix until combined

5) Add in the oats and raisins, and again mix until combined

Note - for steps (4) and (5) you want to mix "just enough", you don't want to over-work the flour, just get the mixture consistent and then stop

6) Form 18 small balls (about 2½-3cm diameter) of the mixture, rolling them gently in your hands to get a smooth, even shape.

7) Place 6 balls on each baking tray, spread out well

8) bake each tray for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will melt and spread, and then start to crack.

 9) Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the tray for 3-4 minutes to firm up

10) Remove to a wire rack to cool completely