For my birthday, I got given The Primrose Bakery Book; it is beautiful and pink and full of pictures that make you drool… But are the recipes as good as they look? I decided to test out their recipe for classic bourbon biscuits and see if they were up to scratch. They looked pretty amazing and were pretty good, the only disadvantages are – as with all biscuits – you have to do about five batches, and also the icing wasn’t that good (but don’t worry, I’ve changed the filling, which will make them taste amazing).
Aunt Mary’s Bourbon Biscuits
Makes about 35 pairs of biscuits (this is quite a few, so maybe half if you don’t want too many)
225g/8oz caster sugar (granulated will work fine)
2 tbsp golden syrup
340g/12oz self raising flour
115g/4oz cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water, or more if needed
50g/2oz cocoa powder
2-3tbsp warm water
100g/4oz icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. For the biscuits, cream together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large bowl (either with an electric mixer or by hand). Beat the flour, cornflour and cocoa powder into the creamed mixture, along with the water. If the dough is very dry, add a little more water.
2) On a lightly floured surface, bring the dough together, and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 4-5mm. Using either a heart of circle shaped biscuit cutter, cut into shapes (you should make about 60-70 small hearts or 40-50 bigger circles).
3) Lay the shapes on a tray lined with baking parchment, leaving small spaces between each. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven. Cool on a rack.
4) Once the biscuits are cooled, make the icing: sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl and add the warm water – it should form a smooth paste. In another bowl, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together, using an electric mixer. Add the cocoa paste and beat until combined.
5) Sandwich two biscuits together with a thin layer of the icing, and once all the biscuits are finished, dust them with a snowy top of icing sugar.
I have pretty much copied this recipe from the Primrose Bakery Book, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask. These have the lovely flavour of classic bourbons, without the shopbought chemical taste, or slightly tasteless filling. Even though you may have to do a few batches, these are very elegant and look extremely appetising.