Thursday, April 23, 2015

Melt-in-your-mouth Viennese Biscuits

I'm loving these Viennese biscuits when I first saw them at Love and Sugar. Instantly, I was thinking of the Mark and Spencer Viennese biscuits that are either dipped or sandwiched with gooey melted chocolate.

I really want to bake these biscuits and so I suggested the theme, Viennese Shortbread for our bake along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings.

Viennese biscuits? These feather-light but buttery kind are typically made with soft buttery kind of cookie dough that is piped into whirls or fingers. While browsing for more Viennese biscuits recipes for my references, I have noticed that most recipes do not contain eggs at here, here, here and here. However, some recipes suggest the addition of eggs and egg yolk at here and here as it helps to hold the shapes of the biscuits after baking. To stabilize the structure of biscuits further, some at here and here even suggest the addition of egg white.

Soft buttery kind of cookie dough that is piped into whirls or fingers??? I can't help to associate these Viennese biscuits with the Donna Hay's melting moments that I have baked before. When I had a closer look at both Donna Hay's melting moments and Love and Sugar's Viennese biscuits recipes and noticed that the proportion of flour to butter of both recipes are about the same!!! Interestingly, both recipes do not contain eggs to stabilize the structure of the biscuits and this explained why my Donna Hay's melting moments lost their shapes really really really badly after baking them.

Lesson learnt... but I'm giving up baking the recipe from Love and Sugar because I know that these biscuits are going to feathery light and melting in my mouth too, just like the Donna Hay's melting moments. After researching further, I have managed to bake these Viennese biscuits successfully with these great tips...



Viennese biscuits shortbread fingers
A beautiful afternoon tea classic, Viennese Biscuits


Tip One: Do not use an electric mixer to mix the cookie dough!

Yes that you don't need a powerful Kenwood or a fanciful Kitchen Aid electric mixer to bake these cookies as over-beating the butter will cause the air pockets in the fluffy batter to expand too much and destroy the shapes of the cookies during baking. For this reason, all you need is a mixing spoon!

Sorry, my sexy KA... I'm not using you today.

Tip Two: The butter has to be very soft!

Try not to bake these biscuits on a freezing day! If you really have to bake these biscuits on a cold day, wrap a warm towel around a bowl of grated butter... this will guarantee creamy and soft butter in less than 15 mins :)

Yeah... This is the kind of soft butter that I'm talking about.
Next, beat in the vanilla paste or extract.

Tip Three: Use less but not completely no baking powder!

As you know, the addition of baking powder creates small air pockets in these biscuits for a feather-light texture but too much baking powder can cause them to look ugly being overly puffy. Instead of adding pinches of baking powder as suggested by the original recipe, I have added 1/8 tsp and the amount is still ok. Yeah... You can add pinches of small teaspoonful of baking powder but remember not to add too much!!!

Mix, mix, mix...
You can use either a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle or a cookie press like this.
I have piped my dough into these two shapes.
phew!!! They don't look so bad after baking!
They should be COOL enough to be dunk into the melted chocolate.
Mum, can I have one of these?
Hands off!!! Shoo!!! You have to wait for the chocolate to set!!!

While waiting, I have been hearing this question: Mum, can I have one please? Not just once but repeatedly!!! See... Kids can be naggy!!!

Now, son... You can enjoy this!
Me? I need a cuppa to fully enjoy these...

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from Love and Sugar and Marie Claire

Makes about 20 - I made 10 whirls and 10 broad wavy ones

For the biscuits:
125g unsalted butter, very softened - very important!!!
25g icing sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
125g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To coat:
50g dark or milk chocolate, preferably the best quality ones like Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa if using the dark chocolate

Preheat oven at 325ºF or 170ºC or 150ºC fan forced.

Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a spoon, beat them until they are well combined. Then, beat in the vanilla.

In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Sift the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir to form a fairly firm dough.

Spoon dough into a piping bag or cookie press fitted with a star nozzle.

Line baking trays with baking papers. Pipe the dough into whirls or wavy fingers, spaced well apart onto the prepared trays. Bake for 13-15 mins until pale golden brown. Allow the biscuits to cool slightly (about 10 mins) on the trays and then transfer them onto the wire rack to cool completely.

To coat the biscuits with chocolate:

Line trays with baking papers. Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl. To melt the chocolate, either place the bowl 1) over a pot of simmering water 2) in a microwave for several pulses of 10 secs in medium power. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Dip one side of the biscuits into the melted chocolate and place them onto the baking papers. Allow the chocolate to set before removing them from the baking papers.

Happy Baking
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.

57 comments:

  1. Hi Zoe,

    Simple and easy to bake these yummy cookies. I will love to bake this over the weekend.

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  2. Oh my goodness gracious Zoe, the amount of time you spent trying to find the perfect recipe and tips just proves it pays to do your homework. They look so feathery light and delicious, I can only imagine what they must be like in "person." I'm happy you decided against the eggs, better for me, lol...I'd be willing to "splurge" on the butter just to even have one taste with a "cuppa:)

    Thank you so much for sharing Zoe, and kudos to your son for being extra patient. I'm not sure I could have done it, lol...

    P.S. I am not back to blogging yet but I sure do miss everyone:)

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  3. Oh, it's bake-along time! I have missed so many bake-alongs! Sobs.

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  4. I can simply tell how buttery these cookies are! Hmm! :)

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  5. Haha I just commented on Joyce's blog that I love M&S Viennese biscuits. The one u made looks really good!

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  6. I love Viennese biscuits. Going to try it soon :)

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  7. You have such an insightful blog. Thanks for sharing. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. Interesting! All the best for your future blogging journey.

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  8. Looking at the ingredients, it looks like butter cookies,but it is called Viennese Biscuits. I bet my girls will like these Viennese Biscuits too.

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  9. I've tried making viennese biscuit twice, and ended up with no shape at all! Hope with your recipe it'll be a succses, wish me luck!
    -Sondang_

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  10. Those cookies just look amazing... I love the way you have so clearly explained the whole procedure!

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  11. Zoe, they turned out so beautiful.
    xox

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  12. Zoe! I love these biscuits look absolutely adorable and delicious!
    I would be happy to make these!
    Just beautiful!
    I love this tea!!

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  13. These cookies are so fluffy...so I also follow your son...Zoe, can I have one please?

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  14. Hi Zoe, these viennese cookies have been on my bake list for long and I have yet to find time to try it out. Yours look great and I would love to have some to go with a cuppa!

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  15. One of my favorite :) Though I have never tried making them at home :D

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  16. Hi Zoe,
    Oh yes I love Melting Moments ... and I'm sure I'll like these lovely melt-in-your-mouth Viennese Biscuits of yours ^-^!

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  17. I tink Mimi wouldnt wait for the choco to set too... lovely cookies...yummy :)

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  18. Well illustrated and really Zoe... I feel to grab them from my lap screen..... :)

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  19. Hi Zoe,
    Your shortbread looks fabulous! Mine fall flat, will take note of the stand mixer thing! Thanks for the tip! I really enjoyed the Viennese shortbreads a lot! Buttery and so yummy!
    OK, I'm off to enter your giveaways! :)

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  20. oh yes, i was thinking that they could be similar to melting moments too after reading from several blogs. The ones that i made were light and tender too but not to the extent melt in the mouth but i still love them :D

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  21. These cookies look perfect...and yes, I love the delicate texture that melt away...I yet have to try to make cookies using such a soft dough.
    Enjoy the rest of your week Zoe :)

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  22. Z, most of the local bakeries make these, but they have a nasty after-taste, probably from using cheap shortening.
    Yours look irresistible. I will not be making them until I can fit into my swimsuit! xo

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  23. Those biscuits look AMAZING! Awesome work! Thanks for the chance to win some incredible prizes, too! Would love to read over tea. Cheers! :-)

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  24. Those cookies look so dadblasted good, I would love the tea bags as I am totally out of my twining tea and I don't have the means to get a new box, I am mary from maryjanesampson@outlook.com......I will try to make those Viennese biscuits soon cause I visit a wonderful lady who adores those type of biscuits I call them cookies and I will get to make some tea any tea for this precious angel of a lady only 91 years young!! luv your blog and its many fine and delightful recipes and your blog and all ciao!

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  25. These cookies are so yum, Zoe. I'm drooling over the thought of biting into one. Thanks for the many giveaways. And good luck, everyone! ^.^

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  26. Irresistible... My baking list from ur site is piling too way high up... Howwwwww

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  27. Love how these cookies presented. You did well. Wish I can have some right away. Yummm....
    Have a lovely evening dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  28. Btw, I love tea so much and wish I could sample all those flavrourful tea soon >o<
    Kristy

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  29. Gosh, I would love to pop some into my mouth right now! xoxo

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  30. Zoe, your viennese biscuits look so awesome!

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  31. Love these biscuits! Very nicely done!
    Sorry not visiting you lately...shopping and packing and more shopping for my trip. I got new outfits, a new bag and a pare of shoes...a bit exhausted but excited!

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  32. Hi Zoe, these cookies look amazing! Don't think I can wait till the chocolate cool to munch on them ;)

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  33. Hi Zoe,
    Thanks for the recipe, I have tried it and my daughter loved it. I posted the recipe on my blog, link back to Bake for Happy Kids.

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  34. Oh dear god! You've made me weak Zoe! Besides regular short bread biscuits, I freaking love Viennese biscuits! I need to run to M&S and get a pack now! We still don't have a working wall oven at home and I'm getting really frustrated! Wish I could switch places with your son and scoff a bunch of those delicious melty biscuits! :)

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  35. These look amazing im going to make them for mothers day thankyou zoe yummy best bikkies ever

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  36. These look delicious and not too hard to make :)

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  37. Yum! These look delicious. Perfect for sharing with friends.

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  38. Definitely going to do these at the weekend, they look yum!

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  39. Delighted, I already have these ingredients in :)

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  40. these look amazing

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  41. This recipe is very easy due to the prescriptions of this web, thanks for writing it. Greetings from Indonesia's sister.

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  42. Look yummy,thank u for the Recipe dear Zoe.warm regard from Indonesia:-))

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  43. Hi, which wilton open star nozzle size will you recommend to pipe the Viennese biscuits?

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    1. Hi,

      You can use any large star nozzle like Wilton IM to do this job. Cheers!

      Zoe

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  44. Zoe I made these today with your recipe and THEY ARE PERFECTION! I doubled the recipe to make a bunch but I still there isn't enough! I totally will be making them again!

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    1. Hi Sharlynn! I'm happy that you like this recipe :D Happy Baking!!!

      Zoe

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  45. Hi Zoe

    Are these supposed to be easily crumbled? I baked a batch today but got difficulties lifting them up from the tray and they just fall apart. Could u advise pls? Thanks!

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    1. Hi,

      Did you "Allow the biscuits to cool slightly (about 10 mins) on the trays and then transfer them onto the wire rack to cool completely"? If you remove the biscuits too immediately when they are freshly baked, you will have this problem! Cooling them slightly will help the biscuits to stay firm enough for removal :)

      Zoe

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  46. Do we need to keep the dough overnight in fridge before baking them?

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    1. Hi Huey Chin,

      No. You don't have to. And these cookies will turn out to be amazingly fine!

      Cheers!

      Zoe

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  47. Which nozzle size and biscuit cutter is used? Wanted to purchase the equipment.

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    1. Hi, The cookie press that I used doesn't show the size of the nozzle. In fact, you can use any size that you want as long as the cookies comes out to be the sizes and shapes that you desire. Cheers!

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