130 grams good dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons whiskey or rum, optional
120 grams butter at room temperature
¼ cup golden caster sugar
½ cup light muscovado sugar (I used Billington's)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest 1 orange
1 x #7 egg (large)
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup cocoa
¼ - ½ teaspoon ground chilli powder or more to taste
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Put the chocolate and whiskey (or rum) in a heat proof bowl and melt over a saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Set aside to cool until luke warm.
Beat the butter, both sugars, vanilla and the orange zest until pale and creamy. Beat in the egg then the melted chocolate.
Combine all the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture until well combined.
Tip onto the bench and divide in half. Roll each piece into a log about 30cm long and 3cm thick. Wrap in baking paper or plastic wrap and chill until just firm but not solid otherwise the dough will crack and break when cut.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. fan bake.
Slice the dough into 2cm thick rounds and place on a lined baking tray. You should get about 30 cookies. Bake for 8 minutes then carefully turn each cookie over and bake for a further 4 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and when cold dust with icing sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate for a more luxurious version. Store for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Makes about 30.
To decorate as per the photo, simply cut narrow strips of cardboard and place over the cookies in whatever pattern you want. Dust heavily with icing sugar then remove the strips, lifting them straight up so the icing sugar doesn’t fall back down onto the cookies.