If you want pretty, delicate biscuits, these aren’t them. Inspired by Jaffa Cakes, they’re misshapen, lumpy and and bumpy. But what they do have in their favour is that you get a full taste of Christmas in every bite! There’s chocolate, there’s spice, there’s chewy toffee bits and crunchy biscuit – what’s not to like?
This recipe is an extension of the Cardamom Biscuit recipe, so if you had some dough left from that you could use it here
The full recipe takes quite a long time to make as you have to wait for the biscuits to cool before you can add the topping, and then the topping has to set, so this is best either done in two stages or saved for a weekend project.
Christmas Jaffa Biscuits
200g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp honey
A jar of spiced apple jam (you could substitute this for marmalade or another kind of jam if you don’t have spiced apple jam, but the flavour will be different, and you might want to add more cinnamon, and/or some mixed spice to the biscuit base)
150g milk chocolate
Stage 1: Make the dough
1) Sieve the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the dry ingredients, rubbing the butter into the flour as you would when making crumble, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre.
2) Put the sugar and honey into a pan and heat gently until melted – it takes quite a while for the sugar to stop feeling grainy, so be careful not to burn it! You may need to keep stirring quite a bit to stop it from catching.
3) Working quickly, pour the syrup into the flour mixture and stir like mad to combine it. Once it is cool enough to handle, shape it into a roll, wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for half an hour or so to chill. While you’re waiting, preheat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4.
Stage 2: Assembling the biscuits
4) When you take the biscuit dough out of the fridge, break off walnut sized balls and flatten, but make a thumb shaped dent in the top of each one. Lay them out on a greased baking sheet and then drop a scant teaspoonful of jam into each thumb-dip.
5) Bake for around 15 minutes to begin with – you will probably need to cook them for a bit longer – nearer 20 minutes or even 25 depending on your oven, but start checking at 15 minutes. – they’re ready when the edges brown slightly and the tops feel firmish.
6) Give the biscuits a minute or two to cool on the tray then carefully remove them to a cooling rack and leave til completely cold.
Step 3: Adding the topping
7) Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Melt the chocolate, giving it a quick stir to make sure it is smooth and there are no unmelted lumps left.
8) Taking a teaspoon, spoon the chocolate over the tops of the cooled biscuits – you want to make sure that the jammy circles on top of the biscuits are covered as an absolute minimum, but if there is enough chocolate left after that, then you can cover the entire biscuit tops with as thick a layer of chocolate as you like. Leave to cool.