I have to be honest with you: there’s not much red going on in these and neither is there any velvet. The recipe is from Edd Kimber, the first winner of the GBBO series, who states he decided to combine two of the main classics: melting moments and red velvet. The thing is, these remind me more of whoopie pies and, as I said at the beginning, the red hue does not come through once baked, possibly because these are too dark. That said, they are very nice and I have had quite the positive feedback from these, including my hairdresser, who is usually subjected to pictures of my creations but had never got a chance to taste them herself.
The decoration on top is highly optional. I do like the ridges as they add an extra dimension and I had eyed this type of cookies a while ago, so wanted to give them a try. The filling is a standard cream cheese one, but feel free to use your favourite butter icing recipe instead or substitute that for an equal amount of jam, for instance. The original recipe also called for lemon extract in the filling, but I decided to ditch that and keep it nice and simple instead. A gentle dust of icing sugar at the end would probably increase the dramatic effect.
Ingredients (for the biscuits)
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- red food colouring
- 225g plain flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- 85g icing sugar
- 30g cornflour
- 1 tbsp milk
Ingredients (for the cream cheese frosting)
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 50g full-fat cream cheese
- Line two baking trays with parchment.
- To make the dough, put the butter and vanilla into the bowl of a freestanding mixer equipped with the paddle attachment, then beat on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add enough colouring to tinge it a deep red, then sift the remaining biscuit ingredients into the bowl and mix until it comes together to form an uniform dough. Add the milk if you see the mixture is too dry.
- Using your hands, roll the dough into small balls (even number!) and place them onto the prepared baking trays, leaving some space in between them. Dip a fork in plain flour, shake the excess off, then press it lightly onto each of the biscuits, leaving an indent and pressing the biscuits a little flatter.
- Transfer the trays to the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I like to give them an extra 5 minutes in the freezer right before I bake them.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
- Bake each batch for 20-25 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the filling, cream the butter with the icing sugar and vanilla, then beat together until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat until just combined. Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, then pipe a good dollop onto half of the biscuits and sandwich with the remaining ones.