That the movie turns out watchable and enjoyable at all is something of a minor miracle considering how many storylines that director Richard Curtis keeps in the air at any given time. But succeed it does, in large part due to a truly stellar ensemble of some of Britain's best actors and actresses but also because it's relentlessly optimistic. Call me sappy, but I feel it's an optimism and earnestness that is earned, even if it is through sheer force of will.
— Stewart Smith
At tea time the prime minister must have his biscuits — specifically chocolate biscuits. This recipe comes from popular British cooking personality Nigella Lawson. She's become well-known for her domestic goddess cookbooks and voluptuous style of cooking.
Her website nigella.com is a good resource for traditional English recipes. If you don't have time to make these biscuits, another popular English tea-time biscuit called Digestive is available at Brookshire's on Rice Road.
This Brookshire's carries quite a few English products on their international aisle. Have a look and create a spread of British favorites to enjoy with the movie.
Christmas Chocolate Biscuits
For the biscuits:
18 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks) butter (softened)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the topping:
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red & green sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl and, when you have a light, soft, whipped mixture, beat in the cocoa powder and, when that's mixed in, beat in the flour with the baking soda and powder. Or just put everything in the processor and blitz, if you prefer. This mixture is very soft and sticky and I find it easiest to form the biscuits wearing vinyl gloves, so pinch off pieces about the size of a large walnut, roll them into balls, then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your baking sheet; you should get about 12 on at a time. Bake each batch for 15 minutes; even though the biscuits won't feel as if they've had enough time, they will continue to cook as they cool. They will look slightly cracked on top. Remove the baking sheet to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 minutes before transferring the biscuits to a wire rack, with a sheet of newspaper under it (to catch drips while topping them). To make the topping, put the cocoa powder, icing sugar, water and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything's smoothly combined. Take off the heat for 10 minutes. When the biscuits are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoonful of chocolate glaze — to glue the sprinkles on in a minute — using the back of the spoon to help spread the mixture, though an uneven dribbly look is part of their charm.
After you've iced 6 biscuits, scatter with some of the Christmas sprinkles, and continue thus until all the biscuits are topped. If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find the cocoa “glue” has dried and the sprinkles won't stick on.
Recipe from “Nigella Christmas” by Nigella Lawson