Cocoa Bean and Vanilla Biscuits

Cocoa Bean and Vanilla Biscuits

People have been commenting a lot on my lovely personality of late. It’s like they feel they need to say SOMETHING nice somewhere in the conversation. Is this because I am, in fact, a twinkly beacon of light in the gloom? No. It is not. It is because I have gotten pleasantly plump. I mean really, I cry at the drop of a hat, go into a complete sorry-for-myself sulk whenever I have to say goodbye to another pet / friend / family member / sentimental belonging and sit for hours, not focusing on the conversation around me because I’m quietly doubting whether I have done this right or made the best decision there. So I know that everyone’s sudden admiration for my personality is not because my leaving has gotten them thinking about what they will miss about me. It’s because they don’t know how to tell me that my jeans are rather snug. If you compliment someone on a personal trait and ignore the increasing girth of their waistline, it cannot be empirically proven that you are, in fact, lying through your teeth.

I adapted this recipe from a Women’s Health magazine (July 2010) to use up some of all the lovely goodies I have to leave behind now. The Cocoa beans add a subtle bitter chocolate taste and have such a beautiful fragrance that you constantly want to take a whiff of the packet like someone with a glue sniffing problem. As it was from a Women’s Health magazine I obviously also had to add a smidgen more of this and that to get it more to my liking. These biscuits are designed to improve your personality and not your waistline.

Cocoa Bean and Vanilla Biscuits


Recipe type: Baking

Serves: 25 – 30


  • 200g butter, cubed
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 level teaspoon vanilla seeds (or 5ml extract)
  • 250g cake flour, sifted
  • 2 heaped tablespoons freshly ground cocoa beans
  • 2 or 3 grinds of coarse salt


  1. Beat the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add the flour, salt and beans and continue mixing until the dough just comes together. At all times, try to keep the dough as cool as possible and don’t over mix. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 4mm thick and press out the shape of your choice. Or just roll into walnut sized balls and flatten.
  5. Place on a prepared baking tray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly golden.


* You could use your favourite cookie or shortbread recipe and just chuck in the cocoa beans.

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