About this recipe:These are moister and softer than standard UK shortbread, although they still have that shortbread-like crumble on the tongue. This gluten free recipe can be enhanced with any flavour(s) you like – see the tips for ideas. Makes 24 cookies (but it's easily halved).
Mix the flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl with a fork.
Cream together the sugar, butter, egg yolks, and extract in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating at low speed to start, then increasing to medium-high speed until really well combined. The dough will become quite dark in colour and fairly stiff. Put the cookie dough into the fridge to firm up for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190 C / 170 C fan / Gas 5. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Roll the dough into balls between your palms, and place on the lined baking trays with plenty of room to spread out.
Bake for around 10 minutes, until they’ve spread out but a light finger tap in the middle still feels quite soft. Remove the trays from the oven and leave the cookies to cool on the trays for 10 minutes or so, until they feel much firmer, before removing them to a cooling rack. Once fully cooled, dust with icing sugar.
I’m quite a fan of any of vanilla, peppermint, orange, almond, or cherry flavouring with these cookies. You could make just one flavour; or, don’t add the extract in step 2, but portion out the creamed butter/sugar/egg into as many bowls as you have flavourings, and add the extracts separately. Mix in a suitable proportion of the flour/cocoa to each separately-flavoured bowl.
I'm sorry to hear of your troubles! This recipe has worked for me for 30 years. Let's see: 1) Did you let it properly chill after mixing? Perhaps it needed more than 30 minutes to really firm up, and it should be very firm before rolling into dough balls. 2) Did you mix in a (hand-held or stand) mixer until the dough was quite firm? This can be a problem on warm days. 3) Was the butter too gooey? (It only needs to be softened enough so it doesn't get caught in clumps in the beater blades. It should NOT be melted, or melting.) 4) You could make the dough the night before and leave in the fridge overnight to ensure it's quite solid, before taking out the next day to roll into balls. 5) I know what you mean about sticking to fingers, which is an issue resolved by the dough being *really* chilled.... I hope you try this again, it's a great recipe. (Sorry about my own rating of my own recipe - had to add it, before my reply to your comment would post!) - 23 Jun 2016
Not the best attempt at biscuits for me. The 'dough' was more like cake mix (soft) and I really stuck to recipe (luckily I only did half). Most of it stuck to my fingers, and it was not 'rollable'. Tasted ok once you'd got off the paper! What did I do wrong? - 23 Jun 2016