While I’m not a fan of shortbread, I adore this chocolate version. This recipe is based on Christmas Chocolate Biscuits, from Nigella Christmas. It makes around 24 cookies.
50g caster sugar
50g brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking trays.
- Cream the butter and sugars together well.
- Mix in the cocoa thoroughly. Then mix in the remaining ingredients.
- Break off the dough and roll into ping pong-sized balls.
- Place on the oven tray, flatten with fingers to about 1 or 1.5 cm thick.
- Bake for 15 min, then rest on the tray for 15 min before removing to a cooling rack.
2 tbs cocoa
175g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Once the cookies have completely cooled, make the icing by putting everything in a small bowl with about 2 tbs hot water.
- Mix well to a thickish paste, and spread generously onto each cookie. But do one at a time, adding the sprinkles to each straight away, before the icing dries.
- As the icing thickens, mix in a little more hot water to thin it out again. I find that I usually have to do this twice. But I prefer to spread this thickish paste (a little more work, perhaps) rather than drizzling over a thinner icing, which mostly ends up running off the sides (sorry, Nigella). Plus, this means more sprinkles can stick on – see if you can spot which photo shows which icing.
These cookies are quite chocolatey, and very easily melt in your mouth. They are delightful any time of the year, not just at Christmas, as the sprinkles can easily be changed to suit the occasion.
Having made this recipe using standard cocoa, and subsequently with Dutch-processed cocoa, I can report that the standard version is great and perfectly adequate, but the Dutch version really is better. Really, really. The improvement is not just in the taste (less bitter and more chocolatey), but in the colour (much darker) and, surprisingly, in the texture – the standard version is a bit floury, but not so the Dutch version. And for those of us in NZ, there’s no need to splurge out on Valrhona, imported all the way from France (read expensive), when we’ve got excellent product from Equagold (much cheaper). Trust me, I’ve tried both.
Updated on 24/12/2015
See here for gold and white versions that I made as a Christmas gift.