As much as I love to bake cakes I don’t often bake biscuits. I’m not sure why, maybe because I know if I do Pete will eat them all?! (Mean!) I have to say however I do normally prefer a cookie, something a little chewier and more unctuous, but I love the look of cutout biscuits. So I set out to find a good middle ground: a good simple chocolate cutout biscuit, but with a slightly chewier richer texture. Cue the salted chocolate and coconut biscuit. The salt and brown sugar give this biscuit a deeper edge. The coconut extract is totally optional. Just be sure to not bake them too long or they’ll end up crunchy.
And if you like a sandwich biscuit these bad boys work a treat.
SALTED CHOCOLATE AND COCONUT BISCUITS
Makes around 24
- 190g plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 115g salted butter, room temperature
- Good pinch of fine sea salt
- 150g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, free range or organic
- Coconut extract
- 30g good quality cocoa
Cream cheese filling (optional)
- 175g cream cheese
- 50g butter, room temperature
- 125g icing sugar, sifted
Place the butter in a freestanding mixer and beat until softened and pale. Add the egg, sugar and cocoa and beat until well mixed. Depending on the strength of your coconut extract you will need to add around 20 drops (the more concentrated/ natural the better). Add to the bowl along with the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Beat till mixed together, but don’t over work it as you don’t want the mixture to be tough. Scoop the dough onto a sheet of cling film, pat it into a ball and wrap up well. Pop into the fridge for around 1 – 1.5 hours, until firm.
When you are ready to bake your biscuit preheat the oven to 180/ gas mark 4 and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roll the biscuit dough out (I find it easier to divide it into 2, leaving half in the fridge, whilst I cut the first half. It stops the dough getting too soft and warm). If you are making them into sandwich biscuits roll them a bit thinner, just over 1/4cm. If you are keeping them as single biscuits roll them a little thicker, over 1/2cm thick. Bake for around 8 – 10 minutes depending on the thickness. You want them to be just cooked and still a little soft in the middle. Too long, and they’ll be too crisp. Keeping them a little soft means they’ll retain the softer, chewier texture. Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits on the tray for a few minutes, then place on a cooling rack.
Decorate your biscuits however you wish! On the un-sandwiched ones, I played around with fondant icing and letter stamps (I ‘glued’ the fondant icing on with molten chocolate). For the thinner biscuits I sandwiched them together for an oreo style biscuit (very delicious).
For the filling all you will need to do is beat together the butter and cream cheese, ideally in a freestanding mixer. When mixed together well, beat in the icing sugar, and then spoon into a bowl and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Use a spoonful of the icing to sandwich your biscuits together.