The church biscuit: 51. Walnut shortbreads & 52. Double chocolate shortbreads


As regular readers will guess, the church biscuit has not been high on my list of priorities in recent weeks, although they have made more of an appearance than apparent from the blog. Here are a couple of biscuits I did manage to make for coffee in church before the election.

I surprised myself by starting these chocolate shortbread biscuits one Saturday afternoon with plenty of time to spare. I was then able to give them the full hour in the fridge as the recipe required. Well, in fact, I got rather lazy and left them in overnight, rashly thinking I’d get up that bit earlier on the Sunday and bake them just before church.

Double chocolate shortcake (from BBC's Good Food, Easy Baking Recipes)

Double chocolate shortcake (from BBC’s Good Food, Easy Baking Recipes)

This was not a very good idea. I got up in good time (several gold stars for this) but then discovered that my refrigerated chocolate logs were too hard to get a knife into. (I now know that 10 secs – or v. slightly more – in the microwave on half power would have softened them sufficiently to go under the knife. But I didn’t know this then.) Moderate panic ensued as there wasn’t even a packet of custard creams or non chocolate digestives around, so I grabbed reliable Mary Berry and made walnut shortbreads instead. They turned out to be very good and the walnuts gave them a great flavour. (What about topped with chocolate or made with pecans instead…? Plenty of possible variations here.)

Fortunately on the following Tuesday we were putting on a tea for half a church of theology students from nearby Cuddesdon College, so my chocolate shortcakes were not wasted (shown below with possibly the best chocolate cake previously blogged about here).


Walnut shortcake (from Marry Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book)

Walnut Shortbreads

 100 g wholemeal flour flour (finely ground better)

75 g plain flour

75 g light muscovado sugar

100 g butter

50 g walnuts, roughly chopped

icing sugar for sprinkling

Recipe from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book (BBC Books, 1994)

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C/150 degrees for a fan oven/ 325 degrees F/ Gas Mark 3.

Lightly grease and line a square baking tin 8″/20 cm square.

Measure the flour and sugar into a large bowl and rub in the butter with fingertips. Mix in the walnuts. Knead gently to bring together to form a dough. (Alternatively process the ingredients in a food processor.)

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until about the size of the tin. Put this in the tin, pressing it gently to fit. (Lots of pushing went on here.)

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until pale golden. It will still be soft when removed from the oven and you can easily score lines in it which will make cutting easier. Holding the baking paper, lift the shortbread out of the tin and allow to cool. When cool, break into pieces along the scored lines. Dredge with icing sugar.

Make 16

Milk chocolate cake and Double chocolate shortbread biscuits

Milk chocolate cake and Double chocolate shortbread biscuits

Double Chocolate Shortbreads

175g butter, softened

85g golden caster sugar

200g 7 oz plain flour

2tbsp cocoa powder

100g chocolate chips

Heat oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees fan/Gas Mark 4.

Line 2-3 baking sheets with baking paper.

Mix butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cocoa, followed by the chocolate chips – you’ll probably need to mix it together with your hands at this stage.

Halve the dough and roll each piece into a log about 5cm thick. Wrap these in cling film and chill for an hour. (You can also freeze the dough at this stage and in a freezer, it will keep for up to a month.)

Slice the logs into 1 cm thick rounds and place these on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

I measured ingredients out in grams for my recipes and as I can vouch for those, that is what I am giving. I have omitted the imperial equivalent in both recipes as I noticed the 4 ounce equivalent is very inaccurate. Looking up conversion charts, I see the following:

1 oz = 25 g

2oz = 50 g

3oz = 75 g

4oz = 125 g

5 oz = 150 g

6 oz = 175 g

7 oz = 200 g

8 oz = 225 g

Just notice the big jump from 3-4 oz of 50 g

Surely we could be a bit more accurate than that?

I hope this doesn’t inconvenience anyone working on those lovely old fashioned scales, although you can get metric weights for those too.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted May 21, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think chocolate shortbread could ever be wasted!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 26, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      You’re quite right, Rachel.

  2. Penny Cross
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you for linking us back to the recipe for the best chocolate cake ever, Mary, and an enjoyable dip into an earlier blog. It’s now copied it into a spare page in a frequently used recipe book, and will be made tomorrow for family coming. My two eldest pre-teen granddaughters visited yesterday but I fail miserably to keep up with rapidly changing tastes – “Does this have nuts/raisins in it?” and “Is this spicy?” – etc., but just know that your cake will be a huge success for all future family gatherings.

    Lovely tulips and poppies. The English poppy selection planted last year is giving us great joy now that the final petals of tulips have fallen. One poppy in particular, its white tulle skirts with water-coloured carmine staining towards the edges, is particularly exquisite. Surprisingly, it’s lasted well over a week in a vase with an early cornflower or two.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 26, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Reading this Penny, makes me realise I must get on with giving this blog an index – some of my best posts were I think early ones when I had more time to research (why oh why didn’t I do it from the start I ask myself?). But good you’ve now copied out the chocolate cake.
      As for poppies – I have big blousy red ones which someone very kindly gave me and which love the chalky soil. Trouble is they don’t really suit the vicarage garden which can perhaps be said to have a subtle rather than showy loveliness. I love the opium poppies we had in the field behind us last -which sound a bit like the one you describe –

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • May 2015
    M T W T F S S
    « Apr   Jun »
  • Photographs & Media

    Please attribute any re-uploaded images to Addison Embroidery at the Vicarage or Mary Addison and link back to this website. And please do not hot-link images!