I love the baking community on Twitter and with the imminent start of the Great British Bake Off a couple of baking aficionados have got together to organise the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong
Every week a theme is being chosen and this week is biscuits. Anyone who takes part has one week to bake biscuits and post their creations.
Now I used to bake biscuits a lot but have got out of the habit of doing this. However I am a big biscuit fan. I don't actually even eat them often as they're too dangerous, but present me with a soft bake cookie and I go very very weak at the knees. In fact I know I wouldn't be this overweight if cookies didn't exist in this world.
But I didn't want to bake cookies so I did my usual Pinterest research and came across the vanilla and chocolate swirl cookies. I am adamant these were a common dessert at my primary school, served as pudding dowsed in custard. Anyone else remember them or was it just my school that did these and passed it off as pudding?!
I have just made my first batch assuming my eldest wouldn't like them but my youngest (who is a butter, sugar, biscuit fiend) would love them. But to my surprise it's the other way round. I would never have guessed, but my youngest took one teeny bite and declared "yuck". I obviously had to consume the rest of the biscuit to see what could possibly be wrong. And do you know what is wrong with them? Nothing, absolutely nothing. In fact just the opposite, I thought they were delicious. As does my eldest who said that I am the best biscuit maker ever and has now consumed two more.
So I present you with this recipe and I say go forth and BAKE!
This recipes yields approx 17-18 biscuits.
115g soft unsalted butter plus a little extra
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
In addition you will need 20g unsweetened cocoa mixed with 15g butter and 1tbsp milk. Melt the milk and butter together, stir in the cocoa and set to one side.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat in to the mixture followed by the milk. Sieve in the flour with the baking powder on a slow speed then increase to a medium speed, mixing until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough by removing around 2/3rds of the mixture and set aside. This will be the vanilla dough. To the remaining dough, add the chocolate mixture you made at the start and beat until it is fully incorporated. This is your chocolate dough.
Using baking or greaseproof paper, roll out the vanilla dough into a rectangle around 20cm wide by 25cm long. Do this with the chocolate dough on another piece of greaseproof paper then delicately lay them on top of each other. With the short end facing you, gently roll the dough quite tightly but without flattening as you go, into a log. Wrap in clingfilm and put into the fridge to chill down for at least 30 minutes.
If making ahead you can put this dough into the freezer and then just cut slices off as and when you want a biscuit fix!
Ready to bake? Preheat oven to 180c fan/160c. When you take the dough out of the fridge give it a little roll so it goes back into a nice round shape as it can sag a little in the fridge during cooling. Slice 0.8mm-1cm rounds with a sharp knife and place on a baking sheet leaving room around each biscuit as they do grow when baking. They will be done when just starting to brown and feeling a little harder to the touch. If they are still too soft pop back in for longer. Then remove and cool on a wire rack.
Custard (as per my primary school) optional!