I’ve never been big on biscuits, so I was never much impressed with cookies, either, that is until I discovered Ben’s Cookies in Oxford! They were freshly baked on site, and so lovely and gooey and chocolate that I was swiftly won over! There is something comforting about them, which makes you feel fantastic straight away! I suspect is part the effect of chocolate, and part psychological! In any case, if you happen to be in Oxford, do go to the Covered Market (which is amazing in itself!) and have some Ben’s Cookies! In the meantime, try making the below fantastic Chocolate Brazil Soft-baked Biscuits! They’re from my favourite book for now, Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipes, and of course they’re delicious!
Chocolate Brazil Soft-Baked Biscuits
SOURCE: Green & Blacks Chocolate Recipes; recipe sent by Lorna Dowell
PREPARATION TIME: 15 min
COOKING TIME: 20 min
75 g unsalted butter
60 g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
175 g wholemeal self-raising flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 – 2 tbsp milk
75 g dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
75 g milk chocolate, preferable 34% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
50 g brazil nuts, chopped
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 C/gas mark 4. Grease a baking sheet with melted butter, or use baking parchment.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg.
4. Sift the flour once, returning the bran to the sifted flour, then fold it into the mixture. The bran gives a distinctive flavour and texture to the biscuits.
5. Beat well, adding the vanilla extract and sufficient milk to make a pliable dough. Mix t wit your hands, adding the milk in stages until the dough is fairly soft, but not sticky.
6. Add the chopped chocolate, nuts and salt and distribute evenly through the dough.
7. Roll out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of about 5 mm. Stamp into rounds and place the biscuits, spaced well apart, on the greased baking sheet.
What a great bowl to lick! Yummy!
8. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 min. Watch them carefully so they don’t overcook. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
HINT: All flour should be sifted before you use it. Sifting flour is important, not just to remove any little foreign bodies that may be in the flour, but also to aerate it.
The biscuits were delicious, and very easy to make! They were even better the next day, when we had them for breakfast, with some coffee and milk. This is the first time ever I made biscuits, and I really enjoyed it! I will be making these again, and I definitely recommend them to everyone! The combination of bran, nuts and two types of chocolate is brilliant! The bran also gives them a slightly dark colour, making them very attractive.
Instead of rolling them out, I took a small amount of dough in my hand and shaped it with my fingers, which worked well. Also, I didn’t have any brazil nuts, so I used hazelnuts instead, which was fine. You can use any nuts you want, and experiment with the types of chocolate you use, too. Almonds and white chocolate would work nicely, for example.