Crunchy-crisp, buttery and chocolatey…what more could you want in a biscuit? These’ll keep crisp for more than a week if stored in an airtight container.
225g (about 8 oz) butter, softened 175g (about 6 oz) caster (superfine granulated) sugar 100g (about 3½ oz) light muscovado sugar 2 medium (size 6) free-range eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten 275g (about 9½ oz) self-raising flour 1 tsp vanilla extract 200g (about 7 ounces) dark unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F), setting a rack in the top third of the oven. Beat butter and sugars together in an electric cake mixer until pale in colour, smooth and creamy. (See Recipe Notes at end of recipe.) Slowly beat in eggs, adding a little of the measured flour to stabilize mixture. Add vanilla extract. Fold in flour with a large spoon, then add chocolate (see notes about best type of chocolate to use at end of recipe).
2 Put spoonfuls about the size of a large walnut in the shell on baking sheets lined with baking (parchment) paper (9-12 to a tray; allow room for spreading). Bake for about 10 minutes until evenly spread and lightly browned. Be careful not to get them too dark in colour or they will taste bitter.
3 Cool on baking trays for a few minutes to let them firm, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further. Transfer to an airtight container when completely cool.
Creaming butter and sugar and beating in eggs is so much easier with a cake mixer. However, it can be done with a hand-held electric beater – it just takes longer, and keeps you tied to the beater. Back in the day creaming was done with a bowl and a wooden spoon, and all I can say is thank god for kitchen appliances. There are a few tips below (and read more HERE).
Hard butter will not cream properly. Soften the butter until it can be squished with the merest pressure. You can do this in a microwave, but take care not to melt it or make oily.
The eggs need to be at room temperature, not taken straight from the fridge, because if they are cold they will most likely curdle. If you forget to take them out in time, put them in a bowl with warm water and leave them while you weigh up ingredients. That will be enough to take the chill off them.
Use an unsweetened chocolate with around 70% cocoa solids.
The rule when making biscuits is ‘cold tray, hot oven’. You’ll need two baking trays (sheets) and 2 -3 pieces of baking (parchment) paper to fit them to make the most economical use of your oven. While one tray of biscuits is baking, put blobs of the mixture on another piece of baking paper. Put a cool baking tray underneath paper and transfer to oven when it is free. Slide paper off onto a cooling rack, let the tray cool off somewhere (not above the oven top) and remove biscuits from paper when cool enough to touch. Repeat.