Viennese Fingers. Or you can pipe them in swirls and call them Viennese Whirls. Either way, this is a delicate, buttery, vanilla-scented shortbread biscuit. I chose to dip mine in chocolate, but you can also sandwich these together with buttercream. Or jam. Or jam and buttercream.

It’s taken me a while to get this recipe to work because, so many times before, I got a great tasting biscuit, but it just would not hold its shape when baked. Finally, I got it to work and these Viennese Fingers don’t (shouldn’t!) spread when in the oven and taste great too.

Shortbread fingers dipped in chocolate

You’ll need a little bit of milk for this recipe, just to get the consistency right. I add a tablespoon, but you might need more. There’s a fine line between a soft dough that pipes smoothly and one that won’t budge when you squeeze the piping bag. And if you have to take the dough out of the bag and add more milk to get it a little looser, then don’t panic, this has happened to me too!

You’ll need a piping bag for these Viennese Fingers and a large, star-shaped tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, or a star-shaped nozzle, then you can improvise by putting the dough into a freezer bag and snipping off a corner. You won’t get the ridges on your biscuits, but they’ll still taste good.

As usual, with any recipe that requires creaming butter and sugar, don’t forget to take your butter out of the fridge in advance, so it has time to soften. This will make this stage so much easier.

Ingredients

6oz/175g butter, softened

2oz/55g icing sugar/powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

6oz/175g plain flour/all-purpose flour, sifted

2oz/55g cornflour/corn starch, sifted

1 tbsp milk (or more, if needed)

4oz/110g chocolate, melted

Method
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you want to use guidelines to measure your biscuits more precisely, use a ruler to draw lines on the underside of the paper, so they show through as you are piping.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
  3. Stir in the sieved flour and cornflour, then add the milk, as needed, to make a soft dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large, star-shaped nozzle.
  5. Pipe onto the baking sheet in lines about 3 inches/7.5cm long.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the dough firm up.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375F/190C.
  8. Take the biscuits out of the fridge and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to cool. When cool, dip the ends in melted chocolate and place on baking parchment to set.
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