Rachel Allen's recipe for an after-dinner treat.


For the biscuits:

  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 75 g butter
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder or granules
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • 1 free range egg

For the chocolate icing:

  • 50 g butter (softened)
  • 100 g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder



  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
  • Place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a cup or small bowl, mix the coffee with the hot water, then add the egg and whisk together.
  • Add this to the food processor and process until the dough comes together. (If making this by hand, rub the butter into the flour and sugar in a bowl, then add the coffee, water and egg mixture and bring together to a dough.)
  • Dust the work surface with icing sugar and then roll out the dough until it is 5mm/¼ in thick and, using a 4cm/1½ in long heart-shaped cutter, cut out 50-60 heart shapes. (If the dough is a bit soft before shaping, chill it in the deep freeze for 10 minutes before using.)
  • Place the hearts slightly spaced apart on two baking trays (no need to grease) and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm at the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully lift off the tray with a metal slice while they are still very hot to prevent them sticking. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • For the chocolate icing, mix the soft butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl using a wooden spoon, or in the food processor, until it comes together.
  • Use the icing to sandwich the cookies together. If you dip a table knife into hot water as you work, it helps to spread the icing. Store in a box for two or three days.


This recipe and many more are available from Rachel's book Rachel's Food for Living published by Harper Collins