Classic bourbons that are easy to make and way more delicious and chocolatey than shop bought ones! On top of all that what’s EVEN BETTER is that these are quite a big bigger than your ordinary bourbon biscuit from a packet – so one biscuit counts as the same amount of calories but you get so much more out of it. That’s how calories work, right? Right?
So why are bourbon biscuits called ‘bourbon’ biscuits? Apparently they were originally called the Creola (which sounds far too much like ‘Crayola’ to taste nice) when they started selling in 1910, but one theory is that the name was changed in honour of the House of Bourbon, a French royal family, in the 1930’s. Probably because ‘bourbon’ sounds much posher and French. Though it does seem to mislead a lot of people into thinking it must contain some bourbon whisky in its ingredients. In fact it’s nothing to do with the whisky! It’s also amazing how these little sandwich biscuits have been around for over 100 years!
This recipe is from bakingmad.com, I just changed the size and appearance of the bourbons, and just used caster sugar instead of golden caster sugar. I also used a chocolate buttercream filling as I did not have custard cream to hand. But either would work great, and a thick chocolate ganache filling would be even more amazing!
Ingredients for the biscuit dough:
225g plain white flour
75g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
125g unsalted butter, in cubes
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
Ingredients for the filling:
280g icing sugar
60g of cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp milk
(or alternatively for a richer filling, make whipped chocolate ganache – which is quick and easy to make if there’s dark chocolate and a small amount of double cream hanging around!)
If you have a food processor, blend together all the ingredients apart from the milk. Then add the milk gradually until a soft dough is formed. If you don’t have one (like me), just mix together all the dry ingredients plus the golden syrup, then rub the butter in using your fingers, until there is a breadcrumb-like consistency (it basically looks like soil – see my picture below!). Then add the milk gradually until a soft dough is formed.
At this point you can wrap the dough in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so, but I think it’s more effective to do this just after having shaped the bourbons and just before baking because they will warm up from the time it takes to shape and mark them.
Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle of a thickness of about 1cm. Then neaten up the sides so that you have a straight rectangle.You then need to measure so that each bourbon is the same size, I made mine 3cm by 7cm.
Mark each rectangle along the long edge with a fork to get the traditional indents. Then, use a stamp to mark the word ‘bourbon’ on each one. I used a little stamp that you can customise with different letters. It’s surprisingly very difficult to spell bourbon backwards with all the letters aligned correctly. The letters are optional really, they’ll still look good without, and there’s much less faff and stress around not being able to spell bourbon backwards!
Place these rectangles on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet, leaving a little space between each as they spread a tiny bit.
Place these in the fridge to chill for 30-45 minutes. Whilst the raw bourbons chill with your other veggies in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180C (fan).
Bake the bourbons for about 20 minutes, then let them cool whilst you prepare the filling.
For the buttercream, just whisk together all the ingredients. Alternatively follow instructions to make some nice ganache.
When the biscuits are totally cool, pipe the filling on to the plain side of a rectangle and sandwich with another. Repeat until you’ve got lots of beautifully chocolate sandwiched biscuits!
These also make a nice gift if wrapped:
Or they can be put in a cookie jar for those moments when sugar is necessary!