I was going to save these for later in the week. But the evenings are filling up already: my dad is arriving tomorrow, Caoimhe is feeding me pancakes on Tuesday, and I’m off to London on Wednesday evening.
Today I made chocolate shortbread biscuits, with my new heart-shaped biscuit cutter. As you will see, I went very Jackson Pollock on the decorating.
Chocolate Shortbread Valentine’s Day biscuits
250g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder
450g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
350g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl, stir together icing sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt. Cut in the butter until the lumps are no bigger than peas.
Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until you have a stiff dough. It takes a minute or so to come together, but I added a few teaspoons of cold water to make it stick.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to half a centimetre thickness (not all at once! Smaller pieces are easier to work with). Cut them into the desired shapes (hearts in my case). Place the biscuits onto an ungreased baking tray.
Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven (or until the surface looks dry). Allow the biscuits to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before moving them to wire racks to cool properly.
While they are cooling, melt the chocolate over a saucepan of hot water and then drizzle over the tops. I had planned to use milk and white chocolate, as a tasty contrast, but white chocolate is annoying to melt (if the slightest drop of water gets into it, it gets tremendously clumpy). So I made pink/red water icing, and the ensuing drizzle ended up looking pleasingly like Jackson Pollock’s Black and Red.