Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Black Pepper and Chocolate Biscuits

Biscuits | 3rd October 2011 | By

The Fairy Hobmother from Appliances Online is back on the scene, distributing gifts as she flitts by. This time I was granted a Ā£25 Amazon voucher. There were so many things I could have used the voucher for, but in the end I decided I needed to up my biscuit making skills and so I splashed out on cookie cutters and a stamp. I fell in love with the “home made” stamp when I first saw the result over at Extra Relish.

Now I’ve got the stamp, but what to make with it? Never having used one before, I wasn’t really sure how to use it or what sort of biscuits it would be suitable for. I’ve already made plenty of shortbread and wanted to try something different. Having heard so much about using black pepper with chocolate, which helps to bring out the flavour apparently, that’s where I wanted to start. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart which not only sounded good but used US cup measures – deep breath, time to finally try out the lovely cup measures very kindly gifted to me by Jac of Tinned Tomatoes.

This is what I did:

  • Creamed 3/4 stick (3oz) unsalted butter with 1/2 cup vanilla sugar (granulated) until fluffy.
  • Beat in 1 small egg.
  • Sifted in 1/2 cup wholemeal flour, 1/4 cup white flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/8 tsp Cornish sea salt, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
  • Mixed together to form a rather sticky ball.
  • Put in a covered bowl in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Rolled ping pong size balls between my hands and spaced them well apart on a baking tray – lined with a silicone mat! Yes that’s right, a silicone mat. Following on from my first and last use of a said item, I was advised that a thinner one was better for biscuits; when I saw a thin one in Truro last week, I rather foolhardily went ahead and bought it. Lots of crossed fingers!
  • Dipped the stamp in flour and pushed the ball down until it filled the stamp area, repeated this process with all 10 balls.
  • Ground some black pepper over the tops.
  • Baked at 190C for 10 mins.
  • Amazingly, removed from the mat onto a wire rack with NO TROUBLE at all!

Trouble came, when as I’d feared, the mixture was too soft and the biscuits spread. This meant these weren’t at all what I’d hoped for and it was hard to make out the “home made” letters. But this was my first attempt and I have a much better idea of what to do next time. There will be a next time as I’d very much like to get this perfected before Christmas. The biscuits held together well, had a good snap and were lovely and crunchy. They tasted good too, with a satisfying depth of flavour, quite rich, but with only a hint of spice and only very faintly peppery.

Thank you Fairy Hobmother; I’m now looking forward to trying out the cookie cutters.

If you leave a comment here and make a wish, who knows, it might just be granted!

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    manu
    3rd October 2011

    What a great combination!!!
    I’ve go the same “Home Made” stamp…
    Have a nice day

  2. Leave a Reply

    MissCakeBaker
    3rd October 2011

    These would definitely make lovely Christmas gifts. I’m praying to the Fairy Hobmother to replace my melted handblender!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Kath
    3rd October 2011

    I love that stamp – what a lovely thing to have and those Christmas biscuits will be a lovely thing to receive.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Foodycat
    3rd October 2011

    I love those biscuits!

    If Fairy Hobmother visited me I would get a new cookie sheet and a new silicon spatula!

  5. Leave a Reply

    A Trifle Rushed
    3rd October 2011

    Wow! Your biscuits look yum! I’m getting the stamp! I am still wishing for a glass bowl for my kitchen aid!

  6. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    3rd October 2011

    I now have SEVERE biscuit/cookie cutter envy!! They are BRILLIANT! And also love the idea of pepper in the biscuits too.
    If The Fairy Hobmother visited me, and she has not to date, I think I would invest in some baking paraphernalia too!
    GREAT post.
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  7. Leave a Reply

    Hanna
    3rd October 2011

    The stamp is adorable, would be lovely to use around christmas or for birthday presents. Silicon mats are great, I have two 5 inch ones so would love a bigger one!

  8. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    3rd October 2011

    Manu – interesting. How have you found using the stamp? Do you have any good recipes for it?

    MCB – oh are you still struggling without one?

    Kath – yes I’m quite excited by the stamp – just need to find biscuits it will work well with.

    Foodycat – thank you. When it comes to baking there’s no end of things to get it seems šŸ˜‰

    A Trifle Rushed – it is a fun stamp. My mother used to have a glass bowl (or maybe ceramic) for her Kenwood and when it broke she was never able to replace it and even after all these years still bemoans the stainless steel one.

    Dearlove – thank you.

    Karen – hee, hee. I’ve never been a great biscuit cutter / stamper / decorater, but I’m trying to mend my ways!

    Hanna – just getting used to my silicone mats now. Do you grease yours before using?

  9. Leave a Reply

    Janice
    3rd October 2011

    They look so cool. I’m sure you will have fun finding the perfect recipe for them. Some kind of sugar cookie recipe would probably work well.

    I have been fortunate in having been visited by the Fairy Hobmother before, but should the fairy alight on my comment. I really could do to replace my old icing nozzles with some of the fabby new ones for piping onto cupcakes šŸ™‚

  10. Leave a Reply

    Shaheen
    3rd October 2011

    I am really liking the home made stamp – pretty awesome.

    I am also liking the look of those Chocolate and Black Pepper Biscuits. Now the question is when am I going to make it?!

  11. Leave a Reply

    thelittleloaf
    4th October 2011

    I’ve never used a biscuit stamp but yours look so pretty! Also love the idea of combining black pepper and chocolate – not something I’d have thought of so glad to be inspired by your blog, as always! šŸ™‚

  12. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    4th October 2011

    Janice – thanks. Like your idea of a fun piping kit. I keep seeing lovely roses around the blogosphere.

    Shaheen – these are very tasty biscuits even if they weren’t quite right for stamping!

    Little Loaf – well you can see my first attempt at stamping wasn’t great. But I’m determined to get this one sorted. Despite their appearance, these biscuits were fun and delicious.

  13. Leave a Reply

    hungryhinny
    4th October 2011

    That homemade stamp is brilliant! I’ve just made some biscuits with a turtle shaped cutter, I think I’m now going to get addicted to new shapes!

    A visit from the fairy hobmother would be amazing but I think what I need for my kitchen more than anything isn’t actually baking related – shock horror! I really need a decent non stick frying pan as at the minute everything gets thrown in the wok – not ideal! I’m sure I’d find some way of turning it to a sweet purpose though!

  14. Leave a Reply

    Nic
    5th October 2011

    Cute dookie cutters, perfect for your biscuits!

  15. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    5th October 2011

    HungryHinny – turtles sound fun.

    CityHippy – my wish list gets forever bigger and my kitchen more cluttered, but the things I really really want I couldn’t squeeze in however hard I tried.

    Four teaspoons – thanks for your kind comments and for following.

    Nic – thanks.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    6th October 2011

    how exciting to have a home made stamp – and glad the silicone mat seemed to work for you – mine has been great thought occasionally it is not right for the recipe – the bikkies sound lovely too

  17. Leave a Reply

    Pam
    6th October 2011

    The stamp is cute and biscuits looks really tasty!

  18. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    6th October 2011

    Johanna – I think I’ve sussed out now that the silicone mat needs to be put on a metal baking tray. My first disastrous attempt I used it on top of a grill rack – that’s what I’m putting it down to anyway.

    Pam – thank you. Am hoping I’ll get a better result with the stamp next time.

  19. Leave a Reply

    Catherine
    6th October 2011

    Oooh I like that combination! I recently tried dark chocolate with sea salt crystals in it and it was To. Die. For.

    Congrats on the Fairy Hobmother visit; I make good use of the mini-chopper I got from him šŸ˜€

  20. Leave a Reply

    C
    8th October 2011

    I like the idea of combining chocolate with black pepper – they look great with the stamp too. Oooh, you’ve made me crave cookies now!

  21. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    9th October 2011

    Catherine – I haven’t been brave enough to add salt crystels yet, but sounds good and it’s about time I tried.

    C – I’m baking cookies again right now šŸ˜‰

  22. Leave a Reply

    Mrs P
    6th March 2013

    I’m not convinced by the pepper idea but the comments about trying it with salt might be onto something. Love the home made stamp, too. Our kitchen needs one of those!

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