Having promised home-made biscuits to a colleague at various times over the past few weeks, I've got to the point where I actually need to deliver. I asked him which flavour he likes best, and he said 'Erm, chocolate?'. So I took that on board and made orange short butter biscuits. With the intention of chocolatifying them later, honest. Then I relented a bit and my desire to make something from my new copy of Short and Sweet took over. I had to seek around a bit to find something that I could make with the ingredients I had in the cupboard, but came across Chocolate Walnut Cookies which are gluten free as they're made with cornflour. As a result I've enough biscuits and cookies to treat my whole team as well as the original colleague, including the wheat-free chum on my team who can indulge without worry. Huzzah!
For the cookies, instead of cocoa powder I used my favourite drinking chocolate, which is a mix of cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. I don't know the exact proportions of cocoa and sugar so I guessed, and adjusted the sugar in the recipe accordingly.
For the orange biscuits, I used the method that Clive taught me to emulsify the butter and water first, along with the sugar. I then grated in the zest of a couple of oranges before adding the flour to make the paste. Because the liquid is safely trapped within the fat, handling the paste isn't an issue and you can roll and re-roll as much as you want. After a half hour rest, I rolled it, cut out the biscuits, and baked them for 15 minutes at 160 ° C (fan). I drizzled some chocolate over the top when they were cool.
The orange biscuits are beautifully short and orangey, and hopefully the chocolate will firm up enough for me to be able to transport them in the morning.
The cookies are amazing, they spread out wonderfully in the oven and retained a chewy interior while crisping up nicely on top.