Gorgeous and deceptively easy to make sandwich biscuits. I normally waffle on for ages before my recipes, but there’s little to say except go make these! They only take about 20 mins of actual preparation (ignoring the rest-in-the-fridge time and cooling) and bake even quicker.
Use any gianduja, Nutella or similar spread for this. It’s unlike me to not make everything from scratch, but I needed a quick show-stopper cookie and a jar of pre-made saved a lot of time.
- These biscuits get a little extra ‘snap’ with the addition of semola/semolina flour (made from hard durum wheat). However, you can just use ALL plain flour instead (so use 270g plain flour) or you can substitute rice flour for the semola
- I cut out the little shaped holes in the biscuits before baking, but I also re-cut them after they had just been baked (when still warm) to give a sharp definition as these biscuits do spread a little
- If you don’t have a tiny cutter for the centres on the top halves, then you can use the large end of a piping nozzle.
- Makes about 13-14 finalised sandwiches (about 26-28 actual single biscuit shapes)
- 2 large baking sheets, prepared with baking parchment/greaseproof paper or silicon sheets
- Rolling pin
- Small palette knife (or use the back of a spoon) for spreading
- Large palette knife or fish slice (for lifting)
- Large biscuit/cookie cutter – mine is 2.5 cm x 7.5 cm (3 Inch x 1 Inch), but use what you have available
- Smaller cutter for the middle cut-out (I used a small flower shape but any small cutter, approximately 1.5 cm in diameter will do, or substitute a piping nozzle)
- Wire cooling rack
- Unsalted butter – 200g
- Caster sugar – 100g
- Plain flour or Tipo 00 flour – 220g – plus extra for dusting
- Fine semolina flour (semola) – 50g (see notes above: can use all plain flour or substitute rice flour)
- Salt 1/2 tsp
- Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Choc-hazelnut spread (gianduja or Nutella or similar) – about 200 – 250g
- Mix all the ingredients for the biscuit dough together (all but the choc-hazelnut spread). Aim for a smooth dough but don’t overwork it
- You’ll need to dust both your work surface and your rolling pin quite liberally with flour for these biscuits (due to the high quality of butter in them)
- Roll out the dough to about 4mm thick and cut out the biscuit shapes with your cutter
- Make the biscuits in pairs: one solid biscuit and one biscuit with a little cut-out, using the smaller cutter (or piping nozzle tip)
- Re-roll any scraps (including those produced by little cutter) and cut out more shapes until you’ve used all your dough.
- You need to have an even number of biscuits to make the sandwiches, but don’t worry if there’s one rogue one, it can be eaten on its own or replace one that may have snapped!
- Make sure that for every complete biscuit there is a biscuit with a little shape stamped out
- Using the large spatula/fish slice gently place them on the prepared baking trays
- They will spread a little (especially if you miss out the next step of chilling) so leave some space between them
- Chill for 15 minutes, and while they’re chilling put your oven on – fan oven at 180˚C, or 200˚C conventional or 400˚F
- Bake in the bottom or centre of the oven for about 14 minutes. They should just be starting to brown at the edges
- Leave to cool for one minute – no more – and while they are still in the trays, use your small cutter to go over the cut-out shapes to sharpen them up. Leave tidying up these trimmed bits until the biscuits are fully cooled or you may risk denting the biscuits
- Leave to cool in the trays for a further 15 minutes and then transfer to the wire rack. Ensure they’re fully cooled before filling so they won’t melt the spread
- Firstly, gently poke out any bits of biscuit within the cut-out areas to smarten them up
- Spread a thick layer of the chocolate-hazelnut spread over the bottom half biscuit (ie a biscuit with no hole in it) with a small palette knife or the back of a spoon
- Gently place one of the tops (a biscuit with a shape cut out) onto the biscuit base you’ve just covered
- Repeat for all of the biscuits and place on a baking tray or in any container and chill in your fridge for at least 10 minutes (this stops the spread melting into the biscuit and making it soggy, and helps with storage)
- You can keep them in the fridge, but they’ll also keep in an airtight container well providing it’s not in too warm an environment (otherwise the spread will start to melt)