350g butter, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
550g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger
100g cocoa powder
red food colouring
200g milk chocolate (optional)
Makes about 30
Mix together half of the ingredients: cream 175g butter and 150g sugar until light and creamy. Beat in one egg and a few drops of red food colouring. Sift the ground ginger in with 300g flour then add to the batter, giving you a soft dough.
Repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients: cream together the remaining 175g butter and 150g sugar until light and creamy. Beat in one egg. Sift the cocoa in with 250g flour, then add to the batter, giving you a soft dough.
Shape the two balls of dough into flat rectangles and wrap in cling film. Chill these in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll each piece of dough on a floured surface to about half a centimetre thickness, keeping the rectangle shape and both the same size. You might need to trim the edges – keep the offcuts to one side to make other cookies. I had fun with a star-shaped cutter.
Sit one rolled out rectangle of dough on top of the other. Roll up lengthways like a long swiss roll and wrap in cling film. Chill this in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan oven/gas 4. Slice the dough into approximately 1 cm thick pieces and sit each biscuit on baking parchment on baking sheets. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
If you want to go the whole hog, and let’s face it you probably do, gently melt the 200g milk chocolate then dip each biscuit into it. Leave the biscuits bottom-up while the chocolate sets, then enjoy them with a cup of tea or other hot beverage of your choice.