Another one of my recipes I dig up for when we need a hostess gift. These are a little more tedious than the Viennese Fingers, but the resulting biscuits (cookies) are not only beautiful, but also delicious.
These bite-sized biscuits (cookies) are layered vanilla and chocolate shortbread that are crisp, buttery and coated on one-side with dark (semi-sweet) chocolate.
CHOCOLATE LAYER COOKIES
Makes around 100
Adapted from “Chocolate”, by Joanna Farrow
- 260 g (1 c and 2 T) unsalted butter, softened
- 120 g (1 c) icing (confectioners) sugar*
- 1 ½ t vanilla extract
- 415 g (2 ¾ c) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
- 3 T cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 150 g (5 ¼ oz) dark (semi-sweet) chocolate, roughly chopped
* You can substitute the icing (confectioners) sugar for home-ground turbinado sugar
1. Line two baking trays (pans) with parchment paper.
2. Using a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment or a bowl and a wooden spoon, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Add the flour and beat to blend. Do NOT be alarmed – the mixture will look “crumbly”.
4. Divide the mixture in two equal halves (using a set of kitchen scales). To one half, add the cocoa powder, stir to blend.
5. Form two separate balls of dough from the two mixes, one chocolate and one vanilla. Cover each ball with cling-film (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes.
6. Roll out the “chocolate” dough to 25 x 20 cm (10 x 8 inches), brush with egg white and set aside.
7. Roll out the “vanilla” dough to 25 x 20 cm (10 x 8 inches). Place the “vanilla” dough directly on top of the “chocolate” dough, press to stick.
8. Trim the edges and cut into 2 ½ cm (1 inch) thick strips along the length of the dough using a ruler.
9. Take one strip and brush with egg white. Take another strip and stick it on top. Take another strip and stick this on top, giving you a total of 6 layers (3 vanilla and 3 chocolate).
10. Repeat with the remaining dough, making strips of dough that are 6 layers high. Wrap in cling-film (plastic wrap) and chill for 1-2 hours.
11. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
12. Slice the dough into ½ cm (¼ inch) thick slices and place onto the prepared baking trays (pans).
13. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the biscuits (cookies) are just beginning to color, allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the tray (pan), and then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
14. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler^ or in a bowl in the microwave on a low heat setting, checking and stirring every 10-15 seconds until the chocolate has fully melted. Dip one side of each biscuit (cookie) into the chocolate, place onto waxed paper until set. Enjoy!
^ A double-boiler is a stove-top set up in which you can make delicate sauces or controllably melt chocolate. To set up the double boiler, you’ll need a saucepan and a bowl that sits comfortably on top, but doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan. Place about 2 ½ cm (1 inch) of boiling water into the sauce pan, then turn the heat to low. Place the bowl on top of the barely simmering water with your chocolate. NOTE – the bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water.