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Chocolate Biscuits, especially for Jemima

Thank you for all the great feedback for our sharing boxes.  As part of our Mothering Sunday bundle of goodies, we included one of my favourite biscuit recipes.  I cannot take the credit for this one, it is a Nigella gem.  I found it in her “Nigella Christmas” book.  (2008)

I confess to not being a fan of her TV shows.  I find them a bit cringe worthy, though a disturbing fact has come to my mind whilst typing this.  I was given the nickname of “Janella” some years ago!  I am not sure why, as I have none of Nigella’s looks, vocabulary or wealth.  I must put this on my list to explore further.

I have attracted a few nicknames over the year’s and one was “Margot”.  That is a story for another day.

I am however, a fan of her recipes, having the majority of her books.

Sharing Box 1

To business.  A loyal mango chutney addicted customer, who has become a firm friend actually shared her biscuits with her daughter Jemima, who is now a fan too.  So this recipe is especially for Jemima.

I have included at the beginning Nigella’s description.  I take no credit

“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 flavour than looks: they are a doddle to make, and meltingly gorgeous to eat”

Nigella Lawson

“Well I mean, really?” Jane Raven

Breakfast pastry

Makes approx. 24

250g soft butter

150g caster sugar

40g cocoa powder

300g plain flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

For the topping:

2 x  15ml tablespoons of cocoa powder

175g icing sugar

60ml boiling water from a kettle

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


  1.  Preheat over 170g gas mark 3 ad line a baking sheet with Bae o Glide or parchment
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl and, when you have a light, soft, whipped mixture, beat in the 40g cocoa powder (sieve it is lumpy) and, when that is mixed in, beat in the flour with the bicarb and baking powder.  Or, just put everything into a food processor and blitz if you prefer.
  3. The 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 the size of a large walnut, roll them into balls, then slightly flatten them 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 have had enough time, they will continue to cook as they cool.  They will look slightly  cracked on the top and it’s the cosy homespun look I love.
  5. Remove the baking sheet to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 mins before transferring the biscuits to a wire rack, with a sheet of newspaper under it (to catch the drips while topping them)
  6. To make the topping, put the cocoa powder, icing sugar, water and vanilla into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything is combined.  Take off the heat for 10 minutes.
  7. When the biscuits are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoon 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 the charm.  After you have iced 6 biscuits, scatter with some of the Sprinkles and continue thus until all of the biscuits are topped,  If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find that the cocoa “glue” will dry and the sprinkles won’t stick on.

Have fun with this one, I have other biscuit recipes if you would like me to share, though none quite as wordy as this one.  Though I could try to flower them up a bit?

If you try the recipe tag us with your photo’s – we would love to see them and it is not mandatory to be doing a Nigella look a like, but it may be fun.

Jane x

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