Ribbon or swirl biscuits

  • Preparation Time60 mins
  • Cooking Time16 mins
  • DifficultyMedium

For the vanilla dough

100g granulated sugar
15g icing sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 large egg
1 to 1 1/4 tsp mint essence
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
280g plain flour

For the chocolate dough

250g granulated sugar
65g natural cocoa powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
210g plain flour
For the vanilla dough:
1) Mix the 2 sugars and the salt together in a medium bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg and mint essence and set aside. With a hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth in a large bowl. While mixing, gradually add the sugar mixture, and continue beating until lightly coloured and fluffy, about 1 to 2 mins. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour, mixing slowly until blended.

2) Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide in half. Place the halves between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or greaseproof paper. Roll into a 25 by 30 by 1/2cm rectangle. Slide the sheets of dough/parchment sheets onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hrs or overnight.

For the chocolate dough:
1) Whisk the sugar, cocoa, salt in a medium bowl. With a hand held mixer beat the butter until smooth in a large bowl. While mixing, add the cocoa mixture, and continue beating until lightly coloured and fluffy, 1 to 2 mins. Stop mixing and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour, mixing slowly until blended.

2) Turn the dough out of the bowl, divide in half. Place the halves between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a 25 by 30 by 1/2cm rectangle. Slide the sheets of dough/parchment sheets onto a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hrs or overnight.

For a spiral biscuit:
1) Put 1 of the chocolate doughs on the workspace and remove the top sheet of parchment. Brush dough lightly with cold water. Place a sheet of vanilla dough on the workspace, and remove top sheet of paper. Using the bottom piece of the paper to lift the dough, place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate dough. Take care to line up the edges of the 2 doughs and trim as needed. Lightly press to smooth and seal the doughs together. Remove the top piece of paper. Brush the surface of the dough lightly with cold water. Position the sandwiched doughs with the long edge facing you. Using the edge of the paper as a guide, roll the doughs into a tight cylinder, 5cm wide. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hr. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of dough.

2) Evenly position racks in the oven, and preheat to 160C/Gas 3.

3) Slice the dough crosswise into 1/2cm thick biscuits. Lay about 1cm apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just golden - not too dark you'll lose the definition of the spiral, about 14 to 16 mins.

For a ribbon biscuit:
1) Roll and layer the two doughs into 38 by 45cm rectangles, and 1/2cm thick in the same way as the spiral biscuits. Put 1 of the chocolate doughs on the work space and remove the top sheet of parchment. Brush lightly with a little cold water. Place 1 of vanilla doughs on the work space. Remove top sheet of paper, and use the bottom piece of the paper to lift the dough onto the chocolate dough. Take care to lining up the edges of the dough. Lightly press to smooth and seal the doughs together. Remove the top parchment.

2) Trim the edges on the layered doughs with a pizza cutter using a ruler or other straight edge as a guide. Working with the short edge facing you, cut the layered dough in half vertically. Set 1 piece on top of the other and then turn the dough, to have the long side facing you. Cut the dough in half again and set 1 piece on top of the other. Wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for 2 hrs before slicing.

3) Trim any uneven edges with a sharp knife. Slice blocks into 1/3cm thick rectangles and bake until the white dough is just beginning to brown, about 16 to 18 mins.

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