I love biscuits in all forms, and have myself developed many permutations, from fresh corn, to blueberry, to pimento cheese. But with the sweetheart holiday coming up, I thought I’d try my hand at a rich, chocolate version. Bake up a batch of these babies for someone special and you’ll make your way onto their heart.
These biscuits don’t rise as high a standard buttermilk biscuit, but are sturdy enough to hold your favorite toppings. I love these spread with a little raspberry jam, and maybe topped with a little clotted cream or whipped cream. These would also make an excellent base for strawberry shortcake. The crackly sugar topping is a lovely touch, but feel free to replace it with a chocolate drizzle or a sweet glaze.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1/3 cup cold butter, diced
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt baking soda and sugar. Mix in the finely chopped chocolate. Cut the butter into pieces and drop in the mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until the flour and shortening are blended together and look grainy.
Measure out the milk and crack in the egg. Beat lightly to blend, then stir in the vanilla. With mixer running, add the milk to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. It will be a soft, floppy dough.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and sprinkle a little flour over the top. With well-floured hands, lightly knead the dough. If the dough is too wet to work with, you can work in a little more flour, but this is meant to be a sticky dough. With floured hands, gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 4 by 8 inches. Place a little bowl of flour on the work surface and dip a biscuit cutter into it before cutting each biscuit. I use a 2- inch cutter, but make them the size you prefer, even using a heart-shaped cutter if you’d like. Carefully transfer the biscuits to the greased baking sheet. Carefully re-roll the scraps and cut a few more biscuits.
Bake the biscuits until risen and firm on the edges, 8 – 12 minutes, watching closely.
While the biscuits are cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Stir in the sugar until you have a thick paste. The sugar will not dissolve completely.
When the biscuits are done, remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops with the butter and sugar mixture. Coat the biscuits well, but you may not use all the topping. Leave to cool on the pan.
Because of the sweet buttery, sugary topping, these biscuits do not keep well, so it’s best to make them the day you plan to serve.
Makes 14 – 16 biscuits