Vanilla noughts and chocolate cross biscuits

Shortbread vanillia and chocolate biscuits in noughts and crosses shapesI woke up with a bit of a brainwave to make noughts and crosses – that’s literally the only inspiration for this bake! I am not sure why…

I often dream about food and recipes; I guess because it’s such a major interest for me and takes up a lot of my day that it might naturally spills over into night time too. Shame I don’t dream about sunny beaches and azure seas as much!

I keep a notepad in the top drawer next to my bed so that if I wake up and am thinking about something I need to do at work (as that’s pretty all-encompassing too) I can jot it down, stop fretting and get back to sleep. Thing is, this notebook has at least as many comments about food in it as it has work to-do lists.

Notes

Although this is a recipe for two types of biscuit (or rather a chocolate and a vanilla version of the same biscuit) it is more about the make and how fun they are.

As a tip, if you don’t have a small-enough round cutter for the noughts, the large end of a piping nozzle or an apple corer can be used instead!

Equipment

  • Bowls
  • Baking trays, all lined
  • Palette knife (for lifting and for cutting long lines)
  • Two round cutters – one about 5cm and one about 1cm (or see notes above)
  • Rolling pin
  • Sharp knife
Ingredients – vanilla biscuits
  • Plain flour – 175g
  • Unsalted butter – 110g
  • Caster sugar – 65g
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon

Ingredients – chocolate biscuits

  • Plain flour – 150g
  • Cocoa powder – 25g
  • Unsalted butter – 110g
  • Caster sugar – 65g
  • Chocolate drops or chopped chocolate – a handful (about 25g)
  • Milk – a teaspoon at most to bind
Method – vanilla ‘noughts’ biscuits
  1. Weigh out the ingredients and mix together (no fancy creaming method needed – just mix it all in one go)
  2. Roll out on a floured surface to about 4mm in height
  3. Press out as many large circles with your larger cutter as you can but don’t lift them – leave them within the dough, as this makes cutting out the smaller circles easier without distorting the larger outer
  4. Press out the smaller circles and then lift out the noughts from the dough and place on the baking tray
  5. Re-roll the dough and continue to make as many noughts as possible

Shortbread vanillia and chocolate biscuits in noughts and crosses shapesMethod – chocolate ‘crosses’ biscuits

  1. Weigh out the ingredients and mix together  (no fancy creaming method needed Рjust mix it all in one go)
  2. Roll out on a floured surface to about 4mm in height
  3. Using the palette knife (it’s just longer so it’s easier) make as many parallel lines as possible in the dough, about 5cm apart (make them to match the diameter of the noughts)
  4. Make lines in the dough at 90 degrees, also 5cm apart to make squares
  5. Taking one square, cut a shallow ‘V’ from all four edges to create your cross. Repeat with all the dough and all the squares you cut out
Shortbread vanillia and chocolate biscuits in noughts and crosses shapesMethod – baking
  1. Put the oven on to 160C fan / 170C conventional
  2. You may need to bake in batches, unless you have a large oven and a large number of baking trays!
  3. Bake for 15 minutes
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