Cookie Monster: Homemade Bourbon Biscuits
I’ve always been a big fan of biscuits. It was always going to happen. For as long as I can remember my parents have kept a well stocked biscuit tin (always with a range of flavours to suit every taste). One of my earliest memories is eating biscuits for breakfast. We were allowed one plain and one fancy flavoured one each morning. I am sure we also had something slightly more healthy for breakfast but I don’t remember what that was. I just remember being able to count to two from a very early age.
This months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is hosted by Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet, with her chosen theme being Cookie Monster. To me cookies are just one of many types of biscuits. Moving to Australia has been good for my biscuit habit as they don’t sell quite the same range of biscuits as they do in the UK and they certainly don’t sell my favourite chocolate Rich Teas or Bourbons.
This months blog hop is being bought to you from the Northern Hemisphere, where I am doing my “visit the family” duties. So when I heard the theme for this month I had to make something suitably English. Shop bought biscuits are very different to homemade ones and you don’t often see recipes to re-create them at home. Many years ago I watched Gary Rhodes make homemade Bourbons on one of his shows. Ever since I have wanted to do it myself but I have never been able to locate the recipe.
Undeterred I did my research and decided the biscuit dough would be similar to a gingerbread recipe. I substituted the usual spices with coco powder and achieved the desired result. The ganache is not quite like the shop bought ones as it is probably a bit too chocolaty but I certainly don’t think that is anything to complain about.
The verdict? They look like the real deal and tasted as I remembered they should. I was very pleased with the outcome. The only thing I couldn’t do with them was break off the top and nibble around the chocolate cream like I did as a child.
What did the family say? “They’re just like the ones you can buy; why don’t you just buy a packet?” Family love, maybe there is a reason I live in Oz. I’ll choose to take it as a compliment and I now know when I get a craving for English style biscuits I can at least re-create one type. I’ll have to work a little harder to get an accurate Rich Tea recipe.
300g plain flour
75g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch salt125g unsalted butter
150 raw caster sugar plus extra for dusting
50g golden syrup
200g dark chocolate
100g cooking cream
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Put the flour, cocoa powder bicarbonate soda and salt into a food processor and whiz to combine. Add the butter and continue to blend until combined. It will start to look like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and whiz again. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg then add the golden syrup and continue to beat until mixed. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and whiz until the mixture starts to form a dough. Tip the mixture out onto a clean surface and knead briefly to form a dough. place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
Roll the dough between two pieces of baking paper or cling wrap/film until it is about 2-3 mm thick. The dough is fairly delicate so this has to be done carefully but the thinner they are the crispier the biscuit will be.
Using a 30cm ruler, cut out lengths of dough to the width of the ruler. Then cut into rectangles about 7cm long. This sounds like an arduous job but if the biscuits are not the same size they won’t look very good when they are sandwiched together.
Lay the rectangles on a non-stick baking tray or silicone mat. Using a skewer, prick ten holes (five each side) along the long edges of each biscuit to give that authentic bourbon look. The real biscuits also have the name written on them but my skills didn’t stretch to that.
Re-roll any dough scraps and continue until all dough has been used up. This amount of dough makes about 40 biscuits so you will probably have to bake in batches.
Bake for 12 minutes at 170C. Once cooked remove from the tray immediately and lay on a sheet of baking paper on a hard, flat surface to cool. This will ensure that any biscuits that have curled during baking cool flat. While they are still warm sprinkle with a little of the leftover caster sugar.
While the biscuits are cooling make the filling. Melt the chocolate then stir in the cream, place in a piping bag to cool slightly or do what I did and use a sandwich bag and snip a tiny bit off the corner.
Match the biscuits into evenly sized pairs. Pipe the chocolate onto the bottom of one biscuit then top with a second biscuit. Push down gently so they stick but not too hard so the filling doesn’t burst out of the edges.