Chilli Christmas Shortbread Biscuits – We Should Cocoa #39
A number of factors combined recently leading to the creation of these hot! hot! hot! biscuits, which I can only describe as a chilli lovers delight. This month’s We Should Cocoa theme is “cookies”. I’d already bookmarked a recipe in Miranda Gore Browne’s book Biscuit for Passionate Chocolate Hearts, which is basically white chocolate shortbread with a passionfruit filling. I omitted that filling as I was going to create one using our last remaining persimmon, but in the end realised I had some leftover orange & white chocolate buttercream from my mother in law’s birthday cake, sitting in the fridge and in need of using up. I had also been sent some Christmas cutters to try out, courtesy of Eddingtons, a supplier of all things kitchen. The cutters were all stainless steel and consisted of one set of three snowflake cutters and a set of three angel cutters in various sizes. The Angel cutters came as a kit with red ribbon and a pin to make the all important holes for threading the ribbon.
Lastly, the jewel in the crown: half a bar of Dartmoor Dragon. This is a powerful white chocolate bar containing Naga chilli from the Dartmoor Chilli Farm. Too hot to eat on its own, at least for CT and I, it makes an excellent addition to baked goods; I found this out when I used it in the pastry for the persimmon tarts I made a couple of weeks ago. It packs a powerful punch, even when diluted by flour, butter and sugar.
This is how I made:
Chilli Christmas Biscuits
- Softened 50g of white hot chilli chocolate by putting it in the mixing bowl and placing it on the storage heater for ten minutes.
- Added 170g of unsalted butter cubed and left to soften.
- Creamed the butter and chocolate with 85g golden caster sugar until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
- Added 175g plain flour (half wholemeal, half white), 80g brown rice flour and a pinch of rock salt.
- Stirred until incorporated, then formed into a ball and left in my cold kitchen to firm up for half an hour.
- Rolled out to about 3mm thickness and stamped out shapes using my new Christmas cutters. I made 12 largish snowflakes and 18 slightly smaller angels.
- Left to firm up in my cold kitchen for 15 minutes.
- Baked for 10 mins at 180°C.
- Made a whole in the top of each snowflake by pushing in the metal pin provided with the angel cutters, but a skewer would probably do as well.
- Dusted all of the snowflakes with golden caster sugar and half of the angels, then transferred to a wire rack to cool and harden.
- Sandwiched the angels with orange buttercream, using the plain ones as a bottom and the sugared ones as a top.
As I think I may have mentioned, there was no mistaking the chilli kick in these biscuits. But in addition to that, they were truly delicious. Shortbread is probably our favourite type of biscuit and these didn’t disappoint. They were crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle with a nice rich buttery flavour. The angels sandwiched with buttercream, were slightly less hot and had the additional orange flavour for the full Christmas effect. I’ve never made hanging biscuits before and surprised myself with how effective they looked. Will they last until Christmas? No comment.
Thanks to Eddingtons for sending me the cooking cutters. Their products are widely available online and in cook shops and department stores.
We Should Cocoa is being hosted this month by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt who has chosen cookies (or biscuits). So if you haven’t done so already, you still have three days left to get your entries in for any type of biscuit that includes some sort of chocolate.
These chilli shortbreads also fit very nicely with the festive theme of this month’s The Biscuit Barrel with Laura of I’d Much Rather Bake Than …, so a few of those are winging their way in that direction.
As the base recipe I used for this was bookmarked from Miranda Gore Brown’s book Biscuit, I am submitting this to Bookmarked Recipes with Jac of Tinned Tomatoes.
Using local produce where possible is something I have always tried to do and usually manage to include local eggs, flour or milk in my bakes. This time in addition to Cotehele flour, I have used some chocolate bought from the Dartmoor Chilli Farm at a farmer’s market in Plymouth. So, I am entering Shop Local over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.