Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Chocolate and Marzipan Biscuits

This is my entry for the January 'We Should Cocoa' challenge, set this month by Chele at Chocolate Teapot. The challenge was to use something left over from Christmas cooking, and although I had mincemeat, candied peel and chestnuts left over, I also had a block of white marzipan which was crying out to be paired with chocolate in some way.

These biscuits were quite fiddly to make and I don't think I'd have bothered with the recipe without the challenge to fulfill, so I have something to thank Chele and Choclette for. They are making me put more effort into my baking, so that I can produce a worthy entrant each month!

This recipe comes from a book called 'The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate' which is part recipes and part an explanation of the history, production, processing and uses of chocolate.

200g salted butter, softened
200g light muscovado sugar
1 large egg
300g plain flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
200g white marzipan (you may not need it all)
100g white chocolate, or a little glacé icing (for decoration)

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then beat in the egg.
Sift in the flour and cocoa, and mix in, using a wooden spoon first, then your hands to give a smooth, fairly soft dough.
Divide the dough into 4 portions for easy handling, then, on a lightly floured board, roll out 1 portion to 5mm thickness. Using a 2" plain or fluted cutter, plus one slightly larger, cut out pairs of circles, one of each size.

(Note - the original recipe used a 2" cutter for both the base and the 'lid' but I found it too difficult to fix on the top layer without breaking the dough, so I used a slightly larger cutter for the top biscuit, which then didn't have to be stretched to fit. Using the same size biscuit round for both layers should give 36 pairs of cookies, but I only got 26, which is why you might have leftover marzipan)

Cut the marzipan into 36 equal sized pieces, roll into balls and flatten slightly. Place a ball onto the centre of a small biscuit round, then use a wet finger to dampen the underside of a large biscuit round. Place this, wet side down, over the marzipan and press to seal the marzipan between the two circles of dough.

When you've made all the pairs from the first portion of dough, add the trimmings of dough to the next portion, knead in lightly and repeat. Continue until all the dough is used, placing each complete biscuit sandwich onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. They can be placed quite close together, as they don't spread during baking.

Bake at 190C for 12 minutes. Cool on the tray for 3 minutes, then move to a wire rack. When cold decorate with a drizzle of white chocolate - the original recipe used a zig-zag pattern over the biscuit.

I ran into trouble here - the white chocolate I bought wouldn't melt properly, got overheated and had to be thrown away, so I used a delicate drizzle of vanilla flavoured glacé icing instead.

These little biscuits were crisp and had quite a strong chocolate flavour, and the little nugget of marzipan in the centre really made them special.


Choclette said...

Oh goodness Suelle - you have indeed been producing worthy entrants and this one is no exception. I always look forward to your entries. If I'm not careful, I shall be doing nothing but reproducing your recipes. As a fan of marzipan, I would so like these biscuits. Thank you again for participating.

Gillian said...

Nice use of the marzipan. Not a big fan of it myself but surrounded by chocolatey biscuit then that's a diff matter!

Suelle said...

Thanks, Choclette - it's not typical of my baking to produce fiddly tarts and biscuits, so I'm happy to extend my boundaries for the challenge.

C said...

They look great - I love the idea of a sweet little something enclosed by delicious chocolate biscuit!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

These sound amazing. Definitely worth the fiddling about!

Chele said...

A very worthy entry indeed. They look fab and I'm not a fan of marzipan so that is saying something ;0)

snowy said...

They look really great. Not a marzipan fan, but could be tempted by these!

Suelle said...

I'm amazed that so few people like marzipan - I can happily eat it by the lump!