Real Bourbon Biscuits

Thursday 16 August 2012

The rain is just pelting down this afternoon . . . bucketing down . . . cats and dogs . . . so hard that the drops are bouncing right back up into the air . . .

This is the kind of day that you want to spend tucked up indoors . . . curled up on the sofa with a good book, a mug of something hot . . . and some scrummy biscuits to much on. There were none to be had in the house, and so I did what any cook worth her metal would do . . . I baked some. (not American biscuits . . . British biscuits . . . aka cookies.)

Real Bourbon Biscuits . . . just like the ones you can buy in the shops, except they're much, much better of course. Homemade is always better. Bourbon Biscuits were created by the same Bermondsey biscuit company as Garibaldis (squashed fly biscuits,) and were named after the Royal French House of Bourbon. Not after the alcoholic drink. Just so you know . . .

A basic Bourbon biscuit is a beautiful thing to behold . . . two thin rectangles of crisp dark chocolate biscuit sandwiched together with chocolate buttercream filling for an altogether . . . elegant . . . chocolaty . . . sandwich type of cookie.

Rich and crisp . . . these are very moreish I think . . . almost dangerous. Simple to make though . . . very easy. A simple chocolate dough, rolled and cut into rectangles, dusted with some caster sugar and then baked. Finally sandwiched together with a rich chocolate buttercream, these are pleasing on many levels . . .

They are soothing, comforting . . . and hit that childish spot in each of our hearts . . . and yet they can be very adult . . . add a touch of bourbon if you wish, to the buttercream. We don't do raw alcohol here . . . so I didn't. I used a touch of vanilla.

Borrowed and adapted from Jamie Magazine. (It also gave me the opportunity to use my new biscuit cutter and word stamp thingie. I got them here.)

*Real Bourbon Biscuits*
Makes about 14
Printable Recipe

Rich dark chocolate biscuits with a creamy chocolate filling. Adapted from Jamie Magazine.

For the Biscuits:
50g unsalted butter (3 1/2 TBS)
50g soft light brown sugar (4 TBS packed)
1 TBS golden syrup
110g plain flour (1 cup plus 1 3/4 TBS)
20g cocoa powder (not the drink mix, scant 3 TBS)
(I used Cadbury's Bournville cocoa powder)
pinch salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 to 2 tsp milk
golden caster sugar for sprinkling

For the filling:
50g of unsalted butter, softened (3 1/2 TBS)
75g of sifted icing sugar (generous half cup)
1 TBS cocoa powder, sifted
1 to 2 tsp bourbon

Preheat the oven to 150*C/300*F/ gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the golden syrup until smooth. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, salt and soda together in a beaker. Sift this into the creamed mixture. Add the milk a bit at a time, until yo uget a soft even dough. It should be a bit crumbly, but should have the promise of holding together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute, until it comes completely together. Roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin about 1/4 inch thick. (I rolled mine out onto baking parchment so that I did not have to use a lot of flour.) Cut out into rectangles. If you like you can dot holes into the dough with the end of a skewer. Sprinkle with caster sugar and then carefully lift onto the prepared baking sheet with a metal spatula, leaving some space in between the biscuits.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Carefully lift onto a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the filling, cream the butter together with the icing sugar, cocoa powder and enough bourbon to give you a fluffy evenly coloured mixture. Spread a heaped teaspoon onto each of half the baked biscuits and then top with another one, pressing down lightly. Repeat until all the biscuits are filled. Store in an airtight container.

(I did not use real bourbon as we don't do raw alcohol. I used some vanilla.)


  1. Stephen's been hinting about chocolate lately, these look spot-on!!

  2. I have never heard of these..they stamp up perfectly..gee you got a real deal:)

  3. Haha. I've never heard of these either! Are they better than Digestives? When we visited England, I always bought a package of Digestives and went through them pretty fast. lol Love it that they're not too sweet, but have a nice tender crunch. Okay, I've got to check out these bourbon biscuits!

  4. These are everybit as good as Digestives Cranberry. I will have to hunt out my recipe for homemade Digestive biscuits and treat you to it one of these days! Homemade is always better! xxoo

  5. Marie I love when you write a bit of 'history' or explanation about the things you make! I've heard of Garibaldi biscuits..not had one. I will try these Bourbon Biscuits sometime, they look great!

    You mentioned doing homemade Digestives!! PLEASE DO!! I love em and in the states, soooo expensive to buy! I was thinking you should do all kinds of crackers, I hate buying things in the shops and they have all that nasty artificial stuff, I want to bake my own! Can you do some things?
    Thanks Marie!

  6. Wow, these look amazing. I'm so glad I have found your lovely blog!

  7. Thank you eight potatoes! They are pretty amazing!!

  8. I grew up dunking bourbons into my tea as a child and grown up but the best ever ones were Peak Freans in Bermondsey South London , a company no longer trading which is a shame , I look forward to making you receipt up as the ones they sell now in our shops just don't have a patch on those scrummy ones from PF .thankyou glad I found your blog .Margaretann from UK

  9. Welcome to my kitchen Margaret Ann!! I hope you make them and that you like them. Oh, I miss Peak Freans as well. They still have them in Canada! Expect they are not the same though!

  10. Hi may I know if this cookie dough is suitable for freezing? Also, can I substitute the milk with water because I am out of milk at home and need to make it asap.

    1. Hi Ashley, I have to say that I don't really know if you can freeze the dough or not. I believe you could freeze the baked biscuits and then just fill them when you need them, but cannot make any statement about freezing the dough with any certainty. I cannot also say with any certainty that you could replace the milk with water, although I can't see why it wouldn't work, so long as you add just a tiny drop of oil to replace the fat that would normally be present in the milk.

  11. i heard when it's late evening, and it's raining hard, and you are alone in your home and you start baking a BOURBON biscuit, dark lord himself pays a visit to enjoy a few bites of these biscuits dipped in the blood of the maker... *lightening sound*

    1. That's a new one on me Gurjara! I will have to pay better attention next time I bake them, lol


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