These colder days have me craving chocolatey goodness – in all forms. Chocolate and hazelnut are a no-brainer and, without tooting my own horn, I would argue these biscuits are better than a certain famed chocolate-nut spread. The buttery, crumbly hazelnut whirls are filled with a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, rich with cocoa and aromatic with coffee. Perfect for an afternoon tea treat. To make the biscuits, you will need:
100g unsalted butter, softened
25g icing sugar, sifted
100g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or a flavourless oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Heat the oven to 170C/ Fan 150C/ Gas 3. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in an even layer. Cook in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Tip into a bowl to cool, setting 25g aside in another bowl. Raise the oven temperature to 190C/ 170C Fan/ Gas 5 and lightly grease one or two baking sheets. Finely chop the smaller amount of the hazelnuts or whizz in a food processor.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until very light – almost white – and fluffy.
Using a fork, blend the flour, baking powder and finely chopped nuts into the butter mixture in three batches, beating until smooth.
Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle and fill with the mixture. Pipe 3cm whirls onto the baking sheet, spaced well apart. If the mixture gets too soft, pop into the fridge for a few minutes before resuming piping.
Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, blitz the remaining nuts in a food processor until they form a paste. Add the cocoa powder, coffee and icing sugar, followed by the oil and vanilla, processing to make the chocolate spread.
Sandwich the filling carefully between two biscuits – they are quite short and delicate, but all the more delicious for it!
The biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. Serve with copious tea!
Recipe via Country Living magazine.