chocolate biscuits recipe
When I asked my husband on Thursday what he wanted with his coffee over the weekend, he suggested brownies. When I looked at the brownies recipe (posted on April 11), I was a bit freshly-shocked by the quantity of butter and sugar required, and started looking for a chocolatey recipe that demanded less.
So as part of my ongoing love affair with the Edmonds Cookery Book, I tried another recipe for the first time from my 1962 edition – Chocolate Biscuits. Although the Tel Aviv summer can be punishing and unpleasant, I will continue to sing its praises for as long as it allows me to take butter out of the fridge and have it ready for creaming within minutes. I didn’t need electric beaters, I didn’t need to warm the butter with any of my primitive procedures like putting it on top of a warming toaster oven or over a bowl of hot water … it just becomes wonderfully soft, and a pleasure to cream. I’ll probably have to go back to regular cakes in winter, because after this summer I don’t think I can ever go back to creaming without an intensely hot day to assist me.
- 4 ozs butter
- 4 ozs sugar
- few drops vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 1 breakfastcup flour
- 1 breakfastcup coconut
- 1 teaspoon Edmonds baking powder
- 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
- 3/4 breakfast cup chopped walnuts
Cream butter, sugar and essence; beat in egg. Mix in all dry ingredients. Roll into small balls, place on cold greased trays, flatten with a fork and bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When cold, ice with Chocolate Icing as follows: Melt 1 dessertspoon butter; add 1 dessertspoon cocoa mixed with a little boiling water, add 1 cup of sifted icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence.
simmer down notes:
- This recipe made about 60 little biscuits. I like making them small; I guess the bottom half of each ball would fit inside a teaspoon measure. They barely spread, they really just dry out in the oven, so it’s possible to fit many on a tray – I managed to squeeze an average of about 20 onto each of my three trays.
- I wet the fork before making the marks, because otherwise the dough sticks a bit to the fork.
- Only while making these biscuits did I decide to find out what a breakfastcup really is. At the beginning of the Edmonds is a weights and measurements table that says that a breakfastcup of flour is 6 ozs. When I measured this out I found that a breakfastcup is MORE than a regular cup; for some reason I’d assumed it was less. Maybe I was getting confused with a teacup, which might be less.
- I didn’t use walnuts.
- I didn’t bother adding vanilla to the icing. The biscuits don’t really need icing – they’re a bit savoury without, but nice and crisp with coffee. The icing also makes the biscuit a bit softer, which I’m not crazy about.
- As with many of the Edmonds recipes, this recipe demands very little in terms of ingredients – both quantity and expense of ingredients. The cup of icing sugar is an exception, which is partly why I only made a half quantity. Icing sugar here generally comes in little 100g packets, so using more always feels like an indulgence. Officially, 1/2 cup is 125 grams, but I scrimped and only used 100 grams.