Chocolate Mocha Smooches

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It has, once again, been an awfully long week. We've spent the weekend working, fussing, cleaning and doing wedding plans - yes, wedding plans - and we're trying to make the basic decisions that let everything just fall into place. Hopeful. So, while the world is rushing full-speed around us, we have to take a few moments out and have a cup of tea - and a biscuit.

I baked some of Rachel Allen's 'Mocha Kisses', but my heart-shaped cookie cutter is decidedly bigger, so I'm renaming them 'Mocha Smooches'.

Aren't they lovely, large biscuits?

Here's an up-close picture for you. I love the way the dough cracked around the edges; little ridges of crystallised sugar. I think this is a reaction to all the sugar used to keep the dough down on the table and off of the rolling pin: I've never worked with such sticky dough before! You have to dust your working surface with icing sugar to avoid the sticking, and, because this dough is so ridiculously clingy, you end up using about a cup of icing sugar just to stop it from bonding with the rolling pin. Hm.

But they're rather nice when they're iced, aren't they? I iced them with a chocolate-mocha butter icing. That's a new plate for my Pretty Plate Collection, from IKEA.

Here's Rachel's recipe from the BBC website:

For the biscuits
  • 175g/6oz self raising flour
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder or granules
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • 1 free range egg
For the chocolate icing
  • 50g/2oz butter, softened
  • 100g/4oz icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
    (I added in about 2T of dissolve coffee)

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

  3. In a cup or small bowl, mix the coffee with the hot water, then add the egg and whisk together.
  4. Add this to the food processor and process until the dough comes together. (If making this by hand, rub the butter into the flour and sugar in a bowl, then add the coffee, water and egg mixture and bring together to a dough.)
  5. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and then roll out the dough until it is 5mm/¼ in thick and, using a 4cm/1½ in long heart-shaped cutter, cut out 50-60 heart shapes. (If the dough is a bit soft before shaping, chill it in the deep freeze for 10 minutes before using.)
  6. Place the hearts slightly spaced apart on two baking trays (no need to grease) and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm at the edges.
  7. Remove from the oven and carefully lift off the tray with a metal slice while they are still very hot to prevent them sticking. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  8. For the chocolate icing, mix the soft butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl using a wooden spoon, or in the food processor, until it comes together.
  9. Use the icing to sandwich the cookies together. If you dip a table knife into hot water as you work, it helps to spread the icing. Store in a box for two or three days.

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