The humble shop-bought Bourbon - you can't beat it, right? WRONG!
Everybody loves a good Bourbon biscuit right? The perfect balance between sweet and salty, soft and crunchy, and just right for dunking...this nostalgic bit of biscuity goodness is one of my favourites for sure.
Although a time-consuming task, making them at home is totally worth the effort as they FAR exceed the ones you can buy in the shop - my homemade Bourbons are their bigger, better, beefier cousins, so to speak.
This recipe is something that I've adapted over time - originally using this recipe by Miranda Gore-Browne (of Bake Off fame) I've adapted it over time by trying our varying different flour combinations, different cocoa powders and other additions, until I was finally happy and confident with this final recipe.
I'm going to share it with you today so you can make them yourself at home.
You're welcome. :-)
For the biscuits
110g light soft brown sugar
110g salted butter
75g plain flour
35g wholemeal flour (I use strong)
25g good cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks)
20g raw cacoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a big pinch of salt
40g golden syrup
For the buttercream filling
200g icing sugar
100g salted butter
15g cocoa powder
10g raw cacoa powder
2 tbsp espresso coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
The mix of flours adds to the texture and bite of the biscuit, and the use of some raw cacao powder gives a deeper chocolatey hit than just cocoa powder alone. The golden syrup is a vital addition to the biscuit dough both for sweetness and texture (thanks to The Biscuiteer ladies for teaching me that trick!)
Adding coffee to the buttercream might seem like an odd addition, but its a tip I learnt from the master that is Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) - by adding a hit of strong coffee to a chocolate flavoured bake it really brings out the chocolatey flavour - a real flavour enhancer and yet it doesn't taste of strong coffee (I promise).
1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy - add the golden syrup and mix in until combined.
2. Sieve all the dry ingredients together and add to the sugar/butter/syrup mix until a dough forms.
3. Weigh your dough ball and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape and then roll out between sheets of cling film into as rectangular a piece as you can manage about 4mm thick.
4. Put all 4 rectangles between cling film into the fridge to go hard (making the cutting out a much easier process)
5. Preheat your oven to 170℃ and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
6. Take your dough out of the fridge one sheet at a time and use a Bourbon cookie stamper to stamp the design into your dough. You should be able to get 40 biscuits in total (making 20 final sandwiches) out of all of the dough - so 10 biscuits per quarter. 7.Once you've stamped the design into the dough use a pizza wheel or knife to cut out each rectangle, and place it on a lined baking tray using a palette knife (space about 2cm apart as they do spread in the oven).
8. Bake for 10 minutes exactly, then remove from the oven - while still hot sprinkle over some granulated sugar and press in lightly with your fingertips or the back of a spoon (be careful they're hot).
9. Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for 15 minutes (they will still be soft, but will harden as they cool, so don't try to move them). After 15 minutes carefully using a palette knife, move to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Keep cutting and baking until you have 40 biscuits and leave to cool completely while you make your buttercream.
10. Using a stand mixer (or wooden spoon if you're hardcore!) beat the icing sugar and butter together until light and fluffy in texture. Add the cocoa powder, raw cacao, vanilla and espresso and beat until combined and super chocolatey.
11. Use a palette knife to spread on a generous amount of buttercream to the underside of one biscuit, then carefully sandwich it together with another biscuit trying to match up the sizes as best you can - if you've weighed your dough and rolled out accurately they should all be a similar (ish) size.
12. Place in an airtight container in the fridge for the buttercream to harden slightly, and enjoy either straight from the fridge with a slight chill, or leave out at room temperature for five minutes or so if you prefer a room temperature biscuit.
13. Make a cuppa and dunk away to your hearts content!
Each biscuit contains approximately 150 calories, and is worth every single one, I promise!
The dough ball, rolling out and stamped/cut biscuits before baking.
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Now, what are you waiting for? Go and bake some!!!
Happy Bourbon munching....