Originally posted 08/12/2013
I haven’t updated my little blog in a while due to being busy but now we’ve officially entered the most wonderful time of the year for cooking I’ve been squeezing in lots of festive baking.
These decadent biccies have got to be one of my favourite cookie recipes and more than make up for my first (and so far only) attempt at red velvet cake being a disaster. They contain quite a large amount of red gel colouring and icing sugar, plus buttermilk and egg, so they’re not the cheapest cookies to make but they look and taste fantastic and are a perfect luxurious treat for Christmas, Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion, or as a gift. I wish I’d taken photo which showed their beautiful dark red colour better as it makes the cookies look very distinctive even without decoration, although I added Dr Oetker Gold Shimmer Spray for an extra festive sparkly sheen. These would also be delicious sandwiched together with some cream cheese frosting for an even more authentic red velvet experience!
If, like me, you don’t want to buy buttermilk (it’s not very widely available here in the UK), I found a great tip online showing you how to make your own by simply adding a dash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice to milk and leaving it to curdle for a few minutes. Et voila – bona fide red velvety goodness in biscuit form!
This recipe is an adapted version of an American one I found here: http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2012/02/red-velvet-roll-outs-recipe/
You can’t see from this photo but they’re the most wonderful deep red colour inside!
INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 40 biscuits depending on size of cutter
- 115g/4 oz butter/margarine
- 170g/6 oz icing sugar
- 255g/9 oz plain flour
- Half a beaten egg
- 55g/2 oz cocoa
- 3 tsp buttermilk (or 3 tsp milk + 1 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice)
- 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tbsp red gel food colouring (NOT the liquid kind as this won’t work!)
- Dr Oetker Gold Shimmer Spray, to finish (optional)
- If making buttermilk as outlined above, pour the white wine vinegar or lemon juice into the milk and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line two large flat baking trays with parchment paper.
- Whisk the butter/margarine and icing sugar until combined.
- Stir in the egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk, then add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix briefly.
- Add the gel food colouring a teaspoon at a time and mix until the mixture turns a deep blood-like red shade (it will be dazzlingly vivid!) then squash together with your hands to form a ball of dough. If it’s too sticky, add some more flour.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm or a freezer bag and chill in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes until fairly firm.
- Place the ball of dough on a large clean sheet of baking parchment then place another sheet over the top and roll out with a rolling pin until about 1cm thick.*
- Cut out as many biscuits as possible with your cookie cutter of choice (I used a star shape) and place onto the baking trays (they don’t spread out much when cooking so they can be placed fairly close together). Squish the offcuts of dough together and re-roll and repeat the process until all the dough is used up.
- Pop in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes or until the bottoms of the biscuits start to colour slightly then transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
- If you want a gold sheen effect as in the photo, hold the Shimmer Spray can about 10cm away from the biscuits and spray each one, then leave to dry.
*You could just sprinkle flour onto the surface to prevent the rolling pin sticking but this ruins the bold colour of the dough when baking.