125 g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup plain flour
¾ cup self-raising flour
50 g dark chocolate, melted
150 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup thickened cream
¼ tsp peppermint essence
- Lightly grease two large oven trays. Line with baking paper.
- To make mint ganache, place chocolate, cream and essence in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until spreadable.
- Meanwhile, beat butter, sugar and essence in a small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in cocoa and combined sifted flours. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth.
- Roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper until ½cm thick. Using a 6cm heart-shaped cutter, cut out 24 hearts, re-rolling dough once. Place 4cm apart on prepared trays.
- Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 20 minutes, or until firm to touch. Cool on trays.
- Spoon melted chocolate into a small snap-lock bag. Squeeze into one corner. Twist bag and snip tip. Drizzle chocolate over half the biscuits. Pipe hearts and love messages on remaining biscuits (as pictured). Stand at room temperature to set.
- Sandwich one of each type of decorated biscuit with a scant tablespoon of ganache. Repeat with remaining biscuits and ganache. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.