There’s a few recipes that I’ve set myself a challenge to perfect over the years and Viennese Fingers is definitely one of those. And let me tell you, it’s been a long, bumpy road!
Biscuits are one of my most favourite things to bake. I feel confident with biscuits. I know what I’m doing when it comes to biscuits. That’s why I died a little inside each time I tried to make Viennese Fingers and faced countless disasters.
Whether it was flat fingers due to a too-soft mixture, impossible to pipe mixtures resulting in too many burst piping bags, what appeared to be the perfect consistency mixture, only for them to turn to mush in the oven…
I’ve tried countless tweaks to recipes in an effort to find the perfect one and after my failed attempts over a number of years; I try, then vow to never make them again…and always do. Well, let me tell you, I’ve finally cracked it!
Now this recipe does have a bit of hack in terms of biscuit formation but hear me out….
My latest attempt left me faced with the usual dilemma of the perfect biscuit mixture being too thick to pipe and bursting a number of piping bags in the process. After a frantic, end-of-my-tether message to Granny she advised me that for Viennese Biscuits you really need to be using a cloth piping bag – plastic ones just can’t handle the pressure.
Now before you run out and buy a cloth piping bag, I have a solution. Here at Baking with Granny we’re all about baking without extra fancy equipment. If you have a cloth piping bag, by all means pipe your biscuits (although it’s still not easy and Granny remembers her hands aching from her days of doing them at the bakery!). My hack for Viennese Biscuits involves no piping…and no one will even know.
So what’s my secret to perfect Viennese Biscuits?
Sausages and a fork!
Yes, you read that right. As opposed to forcing the mixture through a piping bag, you simply take a small amount, roll it into a sausage shape, before scoring a fork across the top. This way you don’t compromise the end results for an easier to work with mixture and you end up with melt-in-your-mouth biscuits without cramp in your hand too.
Butter or Block Margarine
Viennese biscuits are known for having a beautiful butter-y taste and crumbly texture. Traditionally you would of course use butter but you can easily substitute with block margarine to make these dairy-free or vegan.
Sweetness is a must in all the best biscuits but icing sugar is used in this recipe, as opposed to the usual caster sugar you get in biscuits. This helps the Viennese fingers have that familiar melt-in-the-mouth texture.
No raising agents are required in these biscuits, so plain flour is ideal.
Corn flour is finer than plain flour, so it gives the dough a finer finish than just plain flour. Again this adds to the melt-in-the-mouth texture, like the icing sugar, as well as giving them a slight crispness as they bake.
Purely optional and no as common if you are using this recipe for Viennese Whirls but something we think completes fingers nicely. Use a good quality chocolate of your choice. I use dark chocolate to omit the diary but milk chocolate is more common.
Icing Sugar and Butter or Margarine
You can of course enjoy your Viennese biscuits as are but sandwiching them together with some buttercream really does make them next level. A simple buttercream of icing sugar and butter/margarine is all that is needed.
To Finish and Fill
- 100 g Chocolate (dark, milk…)
- 100 g Butter or Margarine
- 200 g Icing Sugar
- Pre-heat your oven to 190°c (170°c for fan assisted ovens or Gas Mark 5) and line a couple of baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter/margarine and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornflour to create a paste-like dough.
- Take a small amount of your dough (about the size of a ping-pong ball) and roll into a sausage shape. Place onto your prepared baking sheets and score with a fork. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving space between each.Alternatively you can pipe the biscuits using a star nozzle and a cloth piping bag, if you desire. A plastic piping bag will not work however (see notes above).
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes until the biscuits have spread a little, look dry and have a slight golden colour. Leave to cool on the tray.
- Once your biscuits have cooled, melt your chocolate over a bain marie or in short blasts in a microwave. Dip either end of your biscuits in the chocolate, before placing back onto the grease proof paper. When all biscuits have chocolate on, pop them in the fridge to set.
- While the chocolate is setting, in a large bowl mix the butter/margarine and icing sugar, until light and fluffy to create your butter cream filling. Pipe or spread a small amount of buttercream onto a biscuit, before sandwiching another biscuit on top. Repeat with the remaining biscuits and buttercream.
Free-from & Vegan
Dairy-free: Simply use a dairy-free margarine as opposed to butter and a dairy-free chocolate. Most dark chocolates are dairy-free but always double check.
Nut-free: No nuts are used in this recipe but double check your ingredients when baking for those with allergies.
Vegan: See dairy-free notes above.
Want new recipes direct to your email?
Subscribe to get our latest recipes and all the news from Baking with Granny.