For the biscuits
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp red paste food colouring (I used Sugarflair)
- 225g plain flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- 85g icing sugar
- 30g cornflour
For the cream cheese frosting
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…
- 50g full-fat cream cheese
- ¼ tsp lemon extract (I used Nielsen-Massey)
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment. Put the butter and vanilla into a large bowl, and beat until soft and creamy. Add the colouring and beat to combine. Sift the remaining biscuit ingredients into the bowl and mix together until it comes together to form a uniform dough.
Using your hands, roll the dough into small balls (I weigh these so each biscuit is the same size, 20g each), then place 10 onto each prepared baking tray, leaving a couple of inches between each biscuit. Using a fork dipped in flour, press onto each of the biscuits, leaving an indent and pressing the biscuits a little flatter.
Pop the trays into the fridge for about 15 mins or until the biscuits have firmed up slightly, then bake for 20-25 mins. Allow them to cool on the trays for 5 mins before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the filling, put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and the lemon extract, and beat until just combined – the lemon extract helps to give the filling a little extra boost of flavour, to help it stand up against the biscuits.
Once the biscuits have cooled, put the filling in a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip and pipe filling on half the biscuits, sandwiching together with a second biscuit.