Change up your cookie routine and impress with brilliant red velvet biscuits as a twist on the classic red velvet layer cake we all know and love.
If you have a favourite vanilla sugar cookie recipe, it can be as easy as substituting approximately 25 grams of flour with cocoa powder and adding red food colouring for a dramatic result!
The distinctive red colour and taste can be affected by the type of cocoa powder you choose to use. A natural cocoa powder is the best choice for red velvet as it is much lighter in colour as it is minimally processed. Once the cocoa beans have fermented, roasted and ground, the liquids and fats are removed, and the dried part of the cocoa beans forms the natural cocoa powder. This process results in a strong chocolate flavour, with bitter notes. This bitterness pairs well with a sweet icing, frosting or white chocolate drizzle. Extra sugar can always be added to the recipe if you prefer a sweeter biscuit.
Dutch-process cocoa powder is roasted with an alkaline additive to combat the bitterness for a rounder, smoother taste. It is much darker in colour, with a much subtler chocolate flavour. This is the cocoa powder more commonly stocked by the supermarkets and is the choice of many home bakers. By carefully adding the cocoa to your mixture in stages, you can ensure your batter doesn’t become too dark so you still have a vibrant red cookie.
To ramp up the red, liquid or gel food colouring can be used, or for a more natural approach, beetroot juice can also be effective. Depending on the yield of your recipe, about 1-2 teaspoons of gel colour should be used, or 1-2 tablespoons of liquid colour.
Get creative with your decoration and use the red velvet base for your favourite royal icing cookie designs or use delicious cream cheese frosting for a treat to go with your afternoon tea.