Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I was recently in Australia, visiting family. While I was there, not only did I stock up on all my favourite treats and snacks but I also undertook to make one of my favourite Australian treats from scratch with mum. Because, well, when you’re supposed to stay at home, what better thing to do than bake?
What is a Tim Tam, I hear you ask? An iconic Australian biscuit (cookie) that you can now get some iterations of (but not ALL the good flavours) here in Canada. It’s a riff on the classic UK Penguin biscuit developed by Arnott’s director of food technology (who thought he could make Penguin biscuits better) and named after the winning horse in the 1958 Kentucky Derby.
According to the Arnott’s website,
Tim Tams are Australia’s most loved chocolate biscuit. With a unique combination of biscuit, cream filling and chocolate coating, it’s an indulgent treat you’ll want to share with friends and family.
(or, you know, not!)
There is the Classic collection (Original, Dark, Double Coat, White, Chewy Caramel and Choc Mint) and the new Crafted Collection but my favourites ones are definitely the double coat and the Choc Mint. So when I saw someone posting on Facebook about needing to make Tim Tams because they live in France and can’t get them, I wondered immediately HOW do-able they are to make at home.
I found various recipes for Tim Tams online – Laura from A Beautiful Plate shared Sarah Coates‘ recipe from her book The Sugar Hit and I found a similar recipe over at 196 Flavors. Now, since I like the Double Coat Tim Tams I was toying with the idea of just making these but I didn’t want to buy malted milk powder (well, I didn’t want to buy a giant can of it because I knew mum wouldn’t use it after I left) so I wondered about making the mint version. Well, I couldn’t find mint essence for love or money in Sydney that week (panic buying of baking supplies, much?) so I raided mum and dad’s liquor cabinet and found this…
The ultimate 70s addition to any cocktail cart, right? And so the plan for the (boozy) mint Tim Tam was hatched.
This is actually a perfect project for those of us spending more time inside these days because it can be done in stages. Specifically, whip up the dough by creaming the butter and sugar then add an egg…
and cocoa powder…Then some flour. Then roll this very soft dough out on floured parchment paper…
and chill in the freezer for an hour.
Remove the dough from the freezer and use a real Tim Tam to approximate the size (or, you know, make yours a lot bigger 😉
Then bake and cool completely..
Meanwhile, whip up your filling – butter, icing sugar and crème de menthe (or mint essence if you have it)…
And use an offset spatula to spread the filling on half the biscuits…
Use that same offset spatula to clean off the edges…
Then freeze these again before dipping them…
I used chocolate, corn syrup and a little vegetable oil…
Those needed to chill in the fridge (and actually be stored in the fridge too).
Ok so mine are a little bigger BUT we (mum and I) thought they were the perfect size 😉
A perfect project for those of us staying home these days, right?
What about it? Does this look like a self-isolation project for you?
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
for the biscuit (cookie):
- 115g (1/2 cup/ 8 tablespoons) salted butter, room temperature
- 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 50g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 190g (1 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
for the filling:
- 57g (1/4 cup/ 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 125g sifted icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons Creme de Menthe or peppermint essence
for the coating:
- 150g dark chocolate (use good quality here, not "melts"), broken into rough pieces
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon (or more) flavourless vegetable oil
Make the biscuits (cookies):
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using electric hand beaters, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is super fluffy and pale in colour.
- Sift into the cocoa powder and flour and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. The dough will be very soft.
- Put the dough on a well-floured piece of parchment paper and gently knead with your hands until the dough forms a (very soft) ball. Pat it down to form a rectangular shape. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough.
- Place a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and roll the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper until it's about 1/2 cm (1/4-inch) thick. The dough is super soft so do your best!
- Place the dough still in the parchment on a baking tray and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Cut and bake the biscuits (cookies)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and let it sit for a few minutes so it's not rock hard.
- Use a pizza cutter or a large, sharp knife (and a ruler!) to cut approximately 20 rectangle shapes approx 4cm x 8cm (1 1/2 x 3 inches).
- Carefully (using an offset spatula) move the cut out biscuits to the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven and place the tray on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare the filling
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using electric hand beaters, mix the butter and icing sugar together until very light and fluffy. This may take a while (3-5 minutes), you're looking for volume here!
- Add the Crème de Menthe or peppermint essence and continue to mix a further 1-2 minutes.
- Set aside.
Fill the biscuits (cookies)
- Match the cooled biscuits - find two that are approximately the same size so it's easier to fill and dip them.
- Use an offset spatula to spread a thick layer of the filling on half the biscuits.
- Gently place the top biscuit on the filling and press down gently. Some of the filling will spread out the sides.
- Use the offset spatula or a butter knife to clean up any filling that is spreading out the sides of the biscuits.
- Place the filled biscuits in the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will make them easier to dip!
Prepare the coating and dip the cookies
- Place a wire cooling rack over a parchment-lined baking tray. This will catch the drips from the chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate and corn syrup together (either in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in a low-power microwave using 30 second bursts until completely melted).
- Stir in the vegetable oil. The mixture should be a thick liquid.
- Take the frozen biscuits and, one by one, drop them into the chocolate. Use a fork to flip them over and allow excess chocolate to drip off back into the bowl.
- Place the dipped biscuits on the wire rack over the parchment-lined baking tray. Continue until all the biscuits are dipped. If the chocolate gets too stiff during this process, add a drizzle of vegetable oil and re-mocrowave until liquidy again. You should have JUST enough chocolate to cover all the biscuits, it's not a thick layer.
- Store the Tim Tams in the fridge until ready to eat.
Adapted from Sarah Coates' recipe for Tim Tams in her book "The Sugar Hit".
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