Chilli chocolate chunk shortbreads

Another variation on the basic shortbread biscuit. This one has a high proportion of ground almonds to keep the shortbreads moist in the middle yet crunchy round the edge and a large helping of chopped-up chilli chocolate.

Notes

  • Makes about 20 mid-sized biccies

Equipment

  • Large baking (or two small) tray
  • Spatula for lifting
  • Bowls
  • Cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Cooling rack

Ingredients

  • Ground almonds – 30g
  • Plain flour – 145g (plus a little extra for dusting surfaces and rolling pin)
  • Caster sugar, preferably unrefined – 65g (and a little extra for sprinkling on top)
  • Unsalted butter, softened – 110g
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chocolate – about 60 g of chilli chocolate – I’ve used Maya Gold by Green and Blacks, chopped into chunks (alternatively use 2/3 of a packet of chocolate chips)

Method

  1. Line the baking tray
  2. Weigh out and rub together the flour, sugar and butter
  3. Roughly chop up the chocolate – you need pieces about the size of a pea
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the chocolate. You should not need extra milk or water for binding as the ground almonds help to make the dough soft enough
  5. Flatten out to a disc shape and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes or the fridge for 15
  6. Put your oven on to 180C fan / 190C conventional
  7. Lightly dust your surface and rolling pin with a little flour
  8. Roll out the dough to about 6-7mm thick (about 2/3rd of an inch)
  9. Press out carefully with the cutters and use a spatula to move the shortbreads to the baking tray – they are quite squashy and I tend to dent them if I try to move by hand
  10. Keep re-rolling the dough and cutting out shortbreads until all the dough is used
  11. Sprinkle a little caster sugar on to the top of each biscuit
  12. Pop in the oven in the middle for 12 minutes – keep an eye on them as shortbreads should stay pale. They’ll be done when the edge of one or two of the biscuits starts to turn a light brown
  13. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the baking tray before moving to a wire rack until they are thoroughly cold
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