Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar to processor and process to combine. Add the cold butter and process again for another 20 – 30 seconds until it is finely chopped through the flour mixture. It might still be a little lumpy and that’s ok.
Finally, add the egg, vanilla and half of the milk. Process again for about 30-40 seconds until everything is well combined and the dough starts forming large clumps. If it's not quite sticking together, add the rest of the milk and blitz again.
Tip the mix out onto a clean surface and pull together with your hands, kneading lightly until it starts to stay together – only a minute or so.
Lay out a long sheet of baking paper (about 70cm) and lay the dough in the centre of one half of it. Fold the other half over the top and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 4-5mm thick. Every so often peel the paper away then recover (top first, then flip it over to do the bottom) - this will stop any creases in the paper causing indentations in the cookies.
Place in the fridge for ½ an hour before proceeding.
Use a 2 inch circle cutter to cut as many cookies as you can. Carefully transfer them to a baking tray about 1 inch apart. Re-roll the dough and repeat until it has all been used.
Bake in the oven for 6 minutes, turn the trays, bake for another 6 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the vanilla buttercream filling
Give the processor bowl a quick rinse then add the sugar, butter, cream, vanilla and salt (the first 5). Process the whole lot for about 2-3 minutes on the low setting until smooth and pale.
Divide the buttercream between 2 bowls, then colour one with orange and one with purple colouring.
Place a teaspoon of buttercream on half of the cookies so that it sits just a little off centre. Press another cookie down on top at an angle.
Add the eyes and sprinkles if using them. If the buttercream needs to firm up, place the cookies in the fridge, otherwise serve straight away.
I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
Author: Marie Roffey
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Snack, Sweets
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