The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 8 Challenges.
Total Project Time: 30 minutes
The Great British Bake Off is a classic show for bakers and those looking for a friendly competition. All the bakes on the show look delicious and I often want to try baking them myself! I finally got off the couch and into the kitchen to recreate some of the recipes from Bake Off! I chose to start with season eight of Bake Off as it is my favorite season and the one with some of my favorite challenges!
It’s biscuit week! Or cookie week for those of us in America. Because what we call biscuits are really just rogue scones. And the first challenge of the week is a Sandwiched Biscuit. This signature challenge has a wide variety of interpretations but one that really stood out to me is Stacey’s Sparkly Chocolate Sandwich cookies! (Original Recipe available on the GBBO website). These cookies looked rich with chocolatey goodness and, while the marshmallow fluff presented a potential mess, it looked absolutely delicious.
This recipe calls for a lot of dry ingredients and very few (what we would call) wet ingredients. This gives the cookie a very dense and rich taste. It also provides a good structure for the cookies to be used as the edges of the sandwich. For the rich flavor, we are going to use a lot of cocoa powders.
Prepping the Wet Ingredients
Just like with most baked goods, we start by prepping the ingredients. I think beating the butter is crucial for this recipe. It needs to be extremely fluffy as it is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for the wet ingredients. And it will provide the most air and lift. The sugar is then added to the butter and creamed even more. I feel like the true creaming method is still eluding me mainly because I can’t wait since I don’t know the meaning of the word patience. The egg will be the last ingredient for the wet mixture. Everything should be well mixed. Just the first two steps in this process will take about 10-15 minutes.
Prepping the Dry Ingredients
I like prepping the dry ingredients because it can be done so quickly. Just measure everything, throw it into a bowl, and whisk it together! I also found that I am a very messy person and I need to slow down a little bit because it’s not good get flour and cocoa powder all over the counter. I feel like a tornado goes through my kitchen every time I decide to cook.
Making the Batter
The dry ingredients are then added into the wet ingredients and mixed until just combined. Cookies are susceptible to overmixing so be sure to keep an eye on your mixer! Overmixed dough will result in the cookie being chewier (like a rubberier texture) than normal.
Shaping the Dough
Shaping the dough is one of the key steps in making these cookies as the dough will not naturally settle. This is due to the lack of fat in the dough (check out the lessons section to learn more!). The first step for shaping these cookies is to roll them into balls. If you want to make every cookie the exact same size, you can weigh out the dough before shaping it into a ball.
I placed each ball on a tray before flattening them with the bottom of a glass. In the show, Stacy has a stamp and uses it to transfer glitter onto the cookies. I did not have edible glitter, so I went without. She used it for presentation rather than taste anyway.
And then, once all the cookies are shaped, it’s into the oven with them! While the cookies are the in the oven, it’s time to make the marshmallow filling. Check out my recipe here for more details!
One Last Step
After the cookies have baked and cooled, it’s time to make the sandwiches! I put the marshmallow fluff into a piping bag to make filling easier and more consistent. You don’t need a piping tip for this process, I just can’t break my habit of putting one on. Put a swirl on the bottom side of one cookie and then place another cookie squarely on top. And voila!
I made it through another challenge! This was probably my favorite challenge as it was delicious. I can eat cookies with reckless abandon. I found that the marshmallow fluff tended to slide with gravity, so I do recommend storing these cookies in the fridge. It helps set everything together very nicely. Although, you might not have any leftover – these cookies disappear quickly!
Am I ready for bake off? I actually felt pretty good about this one. It’s not often I actively consume a desert that I make but I couldn’t stop myself from eating most of this batch.
Why Cookies Spread (Or Don’t Spread)
Cookies will spread in the oven because the fat in the cookie is melting and causing the dough to lose its shape. This fat can come from either butter or sugar. The more sugar in the recipes, the more spread you’ll see. Corser sugar will also cause more spread.
When it comes to butter, the oven temperature is important. If the temperature is too low, the butter will melt too much before the cookie has a chance to set in its final shape. Baking is a science, with many variables – all of which can cause issues.
Rich Chocolate Cookies
- 1 ½ Cup Unsalted Butter softened
- 1 ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 ¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Set up cookie tray lines with parchment paper or silicone matt.
- Beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat until combined and fluffy (about 5-10 minutes)
- Add in egg and beat until well combined.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
- Slow add dry ingredients to the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. Don't overmix.
- Divide dough into 1 inch shaped balls, leaving space for expansion.
- Using the base of a flat bottomed glass, press down eat ball to flatten into shape.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Let cookies sit for 5 minutes to cool on the baking tray and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Creating Cookie Sandwhiches
- Place marshmallow fluff to a large disposable piping bag.
- Pipe a generous amount on the undersides of half of the cookies.
- Place the remaining cookies, undersides downwards, on top to make filled cookies.