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Christmas Chocolate Biscuits

by . Featured in NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
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Introduction

I love these dark, fat patties of chocolate shortbread exuberantly topped with festive sprinkles. There’s something so cheering about the sight of them, but they have more in their favour than looks: they are a doddle to make, and meltingly gorgeous to eat.

I love these dark, fat patties of chocolate shortbread exuberantly topped with festive sprinkles. There’s something so cheering about the sight of them, but they have more in their favour than looks: they are a doddle to make, and meltingly gorgeous to eat.

Christmas Chocolate Biscuits
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Makes: approx. 24

Metric Cups

For the Biscuits

  • 250 grams soft butter
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 40 grams cocoa powder
  • 300 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Festive Topping

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 175 grams icing sugar
  • 60 millilitres boiling water (from a kettle)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • christmas sprinkles

For the Biscuits

  • 2¼ sticks soft butter
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Festive Topping

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup boiling water (from a kettle)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • christmas sprinkles

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF and line a baking sheet with Bake-O-Glide or baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl and, when you have a light, soft, whipped mixture, beat in the 40g / one-third cup cocoa powder (sieving if it is lumpy) and, when that’s mixed in, beat in the flour with the bicarb and baking powder. Or just put everything in the processor and blitz, if you prefer.
  3. This mixture is very soft and sticky and I find it easiest to form the biscuits wearing my CSI (disposable vinyl) gloves, so pinch off pieces about the size of a large walnut, roll them into balls, then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your baking sheet; you should get about 12 on at a time.
  4. Bake each batch for 15 minutes; even though the biscuits won’t feel as if they’ve had enough time, they will continue to cook as they cool. They will look slightly cracked on top, and it’s this cosy, homespun look I love.
  5. Remove the baking sheet to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 minutes before transferring the biscuits to a wire rack, with a sheet of newspaper under it (to catch drips while topping them).
  6. To make the topping, put the cocoa powder, icing sugar, water and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything’s smoothly combined. Take off the heat for 10 minutes.
  7. When the biscuits are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoonful of chocolate glaze – to glue the sprinkles on in a minute – using the back of the spoon to help spread the mixture, though an uneven dribbly look is part of their charm.
  8. After you’ve iced 6 biscuits, scatter with some of the Christmas sprinkles, and continue thus until all the biscuits are topped. If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find the cocoa “glue” has dried and the sprinkles won’t stick on.
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF and line a baking sheet with Bake-O-Glide or baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl and, when you have a light, soft, whipped mixture, beat in the 40g / one-third cup unsweetened cocoa (sieving if it is lumpy) and, when that’s mixed in, beat in the flour with the bicarb and baking powder. Or just put everything in the processor and blitz, if you prefer.
  3. This mixture is very soft and sticky and I find it easiest to form the biscuits wearing my CSI (disposable vinyl) gloves, so pinch off pieces about the size of a large walnut, roll them into balls, then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your baking sheet; you should get about 12 on at a time.
  4. Bake each batch for 15 minutes; even though the biscuits won’t feel as if they’ve had enough time, they will continue to cook as they cool. They will look slightly cracked on top, and it’s this cosy, homespun look I love.
  5. Remove the baking sheet to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 minutes before transferring the biscuits to a wire rack, with a sheet of newspaper under it (to catch drips while topping them).
  6. To make the topping, put the unsweetened cocoa, confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything’s smoothly combined. Take off the heat for 10 minutes.
  7. When the biscuits are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoonful of chocolate glaze – to glue the sprinkles on in a minute – using the back of the spoon to help spread the mixture, though an uneven dribbly look is part of their charm.
  8. After you’ve iced 6 biscuits, scatter with some of the Christmas sprinkles, and continue thus until all the biscuits are topped. If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find the cocoa “glue” has dried and the sprinkles won’t stick on.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Bake the biscuits up to 5 days ahead. Cool and store in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper.

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Freeze the cooled biscuits in sealable bags or rigid containers for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Bake the biscuits up to 5 days ahead. Cool and store in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper.

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Freeze the cooled biscuits in sealable bags or rigid containers for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Tell us what you think

What 24 Others have said

  • These are perfect for the holidays or any time you need a chocolate biscuit or cookie. I make them with the glaze and without. I have even made them with a touch more flour (increasing the quantity by about 25 grams or so) to make them even more like a brittle shortbread than a chewy cookie. In any case, they are perfect with a cup of coffee or alongside a hot cup of tea. My family and friends love them and I cannot imagine Christmas without a tin full of them. They taste best with the warmth of the oven still on them, and I have been known to plate up a few and pop them into the microwave for a quick burst to warm them back up, too.

    Posted by supergenkilife on 8th February 2015
  • These are the best!!

    Posted by PeggyPotter on 9th January 2015
  • I made these tonight to take to work tomorrow and they taste really good! First time I've made them! Really easy to make! I used black and white sprinkles for Christmas ???? thanks nigella!

    Posted by Lees238 on 23rd December 2014
  • @Watgirl, I see there is a Kitchen Query that was published today, that might help with your query about the glasses/tumblers!  Here is the link:

    http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/nigellas-kitchen-items/5474

     

    Posted by Annezila on 15th December 2014
  • These have been part of my "baking repertoire" for a few years now. In my top 5 of go to recipes. I first made them for hubby & my first festive season in our first home. They have never let me down and are a very firm favourite with young and old relatives alike! They are just as yummy without icing, if you're not an icing fan. My tip would be don't over bake them. Err on the cautious side and don't wait until they start browning round the edges! They firm up in the cooling rack so don't panic if they seem a little soft when you first take them out. If they're still soft after coping on a rack for 15 mins, then chuck them back in for a minute. Biscuits can always be put back in again but you can never "un-burn" them! Do try these out. We love them. I don't even wait for December to make these, I bake them them all year round! Remember: a chocolate biscuit is for life, not just for Christmas!

    Posted by craftynaz on 16th December 2014
  • Absolutely delicious. I made these slightly smaller and got 32 biscuits. As I am lactose intolerant I made them with soya spread and it worked fine and the biscuits were still rich and crumbly. These are so easy and quick to make, I can't recommend them enough.

    Posted by sl-james on 11th December 2014
  • I just made them and turn out great. Biscuits tastes delicious. I will make them again .

    Posted by Dulmini on 12th December 2014
  • Can't wait to try these! Just wondered... where can I find those adorable candy-cane glass tumblers in the photograph? I love them!

    Posted by Watgirl on 2nd December 2014
  • Made these this evening and they are delicious, won't last long when the family see them .

    Posted by beelovestobake on 3rd December 2014
  • These are so easy to make, everything in the processor and blitz, my family love them. I sometimes add orange oil for a change and also instead of the usual topping I make a chocolate ganache. Every Christmas I make sure there are plenty in the tin and freezer, as they never last very long!!

    Posted by Chyann on 14th October 2014
  • Gorgeous biscuits! Rather than the icing and sprinkles, I made a chocolate sauce and spread it between two biscuits for an extra yummy biscuit sandwich.

    Posted by fluffymitten on 25th January 2014
  • I made these... a real quick and fun to make recipe. Thanks!

    Posted by SharonPriyanth on 5th March 2014
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