Did you know you can make hobnob biscuits at home!?? I KNOW!
NOTE: when I say biscuit in this post, I’m referring to the British word for cookie. I think of a biscuit as a certain type of cookie: one which is thin and always dry and crunchy, never soft or chewy. What I do not mean by biscuit is a scone-type-thing. Okay. Cool. Let’s proceed.
Whenever I go abroad, I bring a packet of HobNobs with me. In fact, when I was in New York a few months ago and I FORGOT to bring them with me, I coerced my friend who was visiting me into buying some in the airport. I had to ration them out for that month, keeping them in the fridge due to the fact it was regularly getting to 30 degrees in the apartment. But a cold hobnob pairs perfectly with a cup of Earl Grey tea (that’s another thing I bring with me always. Tea bags.).
Why am I so fanatical about these biscuits?? Because they’re probably My Favourite Tea-Dipping Biscuit. A sturdy, oat base flavoured simply with golden syrup and held together with a coating of chocolate. Once dipped the chocolate melts and the biscuit doesn’t become utterly soggy – it retains some bite. Okay so you may read this thinking I’m crazy but the dunkability of a biscuit is SERIOUS business in England. There’s nothing more disastrous than dipping a biscuit into your cup of tea and watching it disintegrate as it falls to the bottom of the mug.
Cue Kate Doran’s (a.k.a. The Little Loaf) new cookbook Homemade Memories*. I flicked through the pages and this hobnob recipe caught my eye immediately. How hobnobs were made had always been a mystery so I was keen to give the recipe a go. I have to say, I was incredibly tempted to make the soft-serve frozen yogurt (which uses egg whites to create the right texture…oooh) and the jam-packed doughnuts, too.
The hobnobs turned out amazingly well, probably even better than the shop-bought version because these used butter (not palm oil) so had even more flavour! They’re oaty, crisp and dunkable! As chocolate hobnobs usually have a kind of cross-hatched drip pattern on them (not sure how else to describe it ) which I couldn’t recreate, I just drizzled them with extra chocolate for a decorative effect. That step is completely optional, as is actually coating them with chocolate – plain HobNobs are a thing – but, to be honest, why would you go for plain if there’s a chocolate option?
-recipe adapted slightly from Homemade Memories by Kate Doran* (affiliate link)
– I also made these biscuits using Hjorthornssal (a.k.a. Baker’s Ammonia) instead of the baking powder. It made even lighter, crisper biscuits but I know it’s a weird ingredient to find. I’m just letting ya know so if you happen to have some in your cupboard you can use it here!
– In case you’re wondering how my biscuits all look so even: while the biscuits were still hot from the oven, I used a pastry ring to cut each one into a perfect circle. This is just me being weird and it’s totally unnecessary.
- 125 g (4.5 oz / 9 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 80 g (2.8 oz / 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 80 g (2.8 oz) (1 cup) quick cooking oats
- 4 tbsp wheat germ , (or use more oats)
- 100 g (3.5 oz / 1 cup minus 2 tbsp) wholemeal flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda , (baking soda)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder OR bakers ammonia
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 g dark , (plain/semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil or butter
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachments, cream together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until pale and smooth. Add the golden syrup and beat to combine. Stir in the oats and wheatgerm followed by the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Take about two teaspoons of dough and roll into a ball. Place onto one of the prepared trays and press down lightly in the middle so that it spreads to about 4cm wide. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving a few centimetres between each ball as they will flatten and spread as they bake.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and the kitchen smells like toasty oats. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Don't worry if the biscuits feel slightly soft; they should firm up and become crunchy as they cool.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spoon a little bit of chocolate onto the top of each biscuit and use a palette knife, butter knife or the back of a spoon to spread it over the surface. Set them aside to harden. Place any remaining chocolate into a sandwich bag and cut the tip of one corner off. Use like a piping bag to drizzle chocolate over the chocolate-coated biscuits in a cross hatch pattern. Leave to set again.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
63 thoughts on “DIY Chocolate HobNob Biscuits / Cookies”
I’ve never had a hobnob before but they sound really delicious! Especially this homemade version. I will definitely have to check out Homemade Memories soon, it sounds like a great cookbook 🙂
These cookies are too fun Izy! I love that cookie base!
Any recommendations on how to make these gluten free? What flour would you sub in for the wholemeal flour? I desperately want to make these!
Maybe a mixture of buckwheat flour and tapioca starch would would work? Or just try subbing in a premade gluten free blend?
Brilliant – I have both buckwheat flour and tapioca starch on hand. Now to dig up some chocolate. Thank you!
Tried this with buckwheat flour and tapioca starch – they spread a LOT, but were still delicious, and the good news is, now I know how to make gluten free florentines 🙂 I am committed to making these gluten free as pictured…I am willing to bake (and eat!) as many batches as necessary, for scientific purposes!
Hahah okay good to know!! Maybe oat flour would be a good one to use??? Let me know if you try anything else! 🙂
I’ll have to give these a try!
Homemade hobnobs? My afternoon tea will be happy to meet these dunkables. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
These are gorgeous! And you’re so right, the dunkability of a cookie is SO important 🙂
Totally feel you with the dunking and disintegrating of biscuit into tea. It’s heart-breaking. Why does it always happen in slow motion? And to see the remains of the biscuit at the bottom of the cup when the tea’s all gone, it’s just so sad. Beautiful biscuits btw…
They look delicious.
These look amazing! Totally a childhood favourite of mine!
What is golden syrup? Is it maple syrup?
It’s a thick, golden coloured syrup which is produced when cane sugar is refined. I’d say it’s a bit like corn syrup in texture but it has a lot of flavour! It’s not dark like molasses though. If you can’t find it in the shops you’ll be able to order it online for sure 🙂
I’m obsessed with these, too! I discovered them when I was an Exchange student in England. I couldn’t find them when I got back to the states so I would wait for my exchange family to send me care packages oF them!!!
They are definitely a biscuit which is worth waiting for!
I’m typically a chewy cookie kinda girl, but I can get down with dunking! As a kid, nutter butters didn’t stand a chance against me. I like the distinction of “biscuit”, though, because I feel like the crisp kind of dunking entity is different than the warm, chewy entity. Both good, definitely distinct.
So true, definitely good to have different names for them!
I bloody love a good HobNob! I’m not really someone who goes out and buys biscuits, or really eats them, but I will pretty much always say yes to a HobNob. I’d love to make these and in all honesty, naively I hadn’t even realised McVites use palm oil instead of butter. Naughty.
I’ll let you know how I get along with these when I get the chance to bake them….
they look & sound awesome – never had a hobnob, but they look worth trying 🙂
Before I could buy Hob Nobs in the U.S. I used to hoard them on every trip back from the UK. Once I got stopped by security with 7 rolls of Hobs and chocolate covered Digestives in my carry on. It was embarrassing, to say the least.
Ahaha that’s amazing. You shouldn’t have been embarrassed you should’ve been PROUD by your BRILLIANT life choices. I approve 😉
I always bring some tea bags/coffee with me too! I love a thinner biscuit aswell, they’re more ‘dunkable’! Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to add ginger as well 🙂
Hobnobs! I love them and these are really sinful..but look so good!
Oh wow, incredible. firstly, i agree 100% about the hobnobs, they just team very well with tea! These look so nice!!!!
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I’ve never even heard of hob-nobs before, but they look beautiful, Izy! And though I’m not British, dunkability is SO a thing. Nothing worse than going for the dip and coming up with a half-dissolved cookie. *shudder* Also, I 100% approve the whole perfect-circle thing. 😀
I like your description of what a biscuit is! (I’m English) How hobnobs are made has been a mystery to me too, for some reason I love the idea of spending ages making something which you could just go and buy in the shops- last week I made Bakewell tarts, I think hobnobs will be next 🙂
What a lovely write up of my recipe – I pretty much always make them with extra chocolate on top because, why not? Gorgeous photos, as always x
It was a delightful recipe to use and share!! Thanks, Kate 🙂 X
Ooh, these look super exciting! I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten a hobnob before, but I’m definitely going to do so now!
AAAA these are my all time favourite biscuits. I was debating what biscuits I should cook for this week. You have just solved this problem for me 🙂 Thank you so much for this recipe.
I never knew there was a difference between English and American biscuits!
These look phenomenal, definitely worth a bake.
Visiting England last year, I became aware of what the perfect cup of tea and biscuit tasted like. Can’t wait to recreate that in my kitchen.
Oh, gawd such a classic! I’m putting the kettle on right now <3
These look incred! Simply perfection!
Gotta love anything inspired by the humble hobnob. These look tops.
These look amazing! I’ve never had them, not being from the UK or ever even been there, but I have a weird obsession with store-bought treats that I’ve never tried before from other countries. Love that cross-hatch work, too.
Love the idea of using baker’s ammonia for extra crispness – remember not to taste any of the raw dough, however, if you choose to go this route.
oh i dont even like hobnobs but these look SOOOO GOOOD!!! my biscuit of choice…choc digestive always. and if you haven’t watched it, i think you’ll LOVE nigel slater’s show on biscuits. they actually tested a range of biscuits to see which one had the best dunk. i think rich tea came out shining. xx
Oh I love these cookies. Simple is always the best. Would love to have a bunch of them on hand to snack with a nice cup of tea.
Being in the states, what should I replace golden syrup with? These cookies look amazing!
It’ll have the wrong flavour but plain corn syrup, agave syrup or honey will work texture-wise! You should be able to get golden syrup online/ in some grocery stores, though if you want the right flavour 🙂
These HobNob’s sound so good! My mom is South African so I LOVE tea and I can’t go a day without eating chocolate. Thank you for this recipe!
Ooh these look delicious, I want to try to make them but what is golden syrup? Is it maple syrup or corn syrup or something else?
Golden syrup is produced during the processing of sugar cane. It’s very thick and has a really unique, caramelised flavour. It’s not really like corn syrup apart from in texture. The most common brand is by Tate & Lyle and comes in a green and silver tin. You can buy it in the grocery stores in America sometimes (and everywhere in the UK) or online!
Hello, I don’t know if you are ever going to read this but I just wanted to thank you for this delightful recipe for my new favorite biscuit: Hobnob. I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes! 🙂
I have had this recipe on my to-do list for some time…… and as today it is snowing here in Spain I thought I would give it a try. FANTASTIC. I have had the biscuits in the past, from a packet of course, and have always wanted to be able to make them myself. These really came out well and I will no doubt be making them many more times in the future. THANKS for sharing.
I lived in England for a few years and the dunkability factor is true! I love hobnobs. Having my first attempt ending in the bin, I pulled myself back together and went for it a second time. The new batch was kind of edible. It looked nothing like in the picture. I am a terrible cook, did I mention that? But I seriously love my food and want to become better at cooking/baking.
Is this plain or self raising whole meal flour?x
What I would like to say about your post is that you only need to have a look, at first glance, you understand how hard people have worked to write your post, you have not put any useless content at all. . Wrote my post in beautiful words.
These are our go to biscuits! I make a double batch. With one tablespoon of the golden syrup replaced with honey, two packet of dark chocolate chips, one of milk chocolate chips and a decent handful of chopped mixed nuts. They are our favourite oaty cookies to have with our coffee/elevenses. I make a couple of bigger ones for our granddaughter to take for snack at school as it makes a change from fruit. Thank you for this recipe!
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