This biscuit recipe is so old that I can’t remember where it came from originally, or why we decided to name them after Sonya the duck in Disney’s Peter and the Wolf. I had the cassette and readalong book when I was little, my favourite part was the sound-effect used for Peter’s pop-gun. No, that’s a lie, my favourite part was having an aunt read the book out loud using different voices for the characters, one of which was given the funniest Cape-Flats gangsta accent:
These were my sister’s all-time favourite biscuits until about ten years ago when she ate too many in one sitting and couldn’t look at them or smell them or hear their name again. However, time heals all ills, so I resurrected the recipe for her recent visit.
I’d forgotten how easy they are – four ingredients! The kind of ingredients that are always on hand, too. They’re rich and melt-in-the-mouth with a hidden chocolate centre; they taste like a lot of time and effort went into them, but the reality is that they’ll take as much effort as making the cup of coffee you will enjoy them with…
For about 30 incredibly rich Sonya biscuits:
250g softened butter (marg will work as well)
60g (125ml) icing sugar, sifted
320g cake flour, sifted
100g chocolate of your choice, neatly cubed – about a cubic centimeter maybe (I just used half a chocolate block per biscuit, then ate the rest. Waste not, want not.)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Beat the butter and icing sugar together until combined, then stir in the cake flour. If it’s a warm day and the dough is soft and difficult to work with, let it chill in the fridge (covered) for a bit.
Pinch off blobs of the soft dough and wrap it around a piece of chocolate, shaping neatly into a ball. It should fit comfortably in your palm, with no chocolate exposed (unless of course you want a molten chocolate nightmare in your oven). You don’t want too much dough either because eating a biscuit should not require two hands and 20 minutes of chomping.
I used three types of chocolate – plain milk, milk with coconut and chopped cashews (I rolled the biscuits in dessicated coconut before baking) and white chocolate (I studded gold and pearl edible goodies on one end to differentiate them).
Bake for 12-15 minutes; while they are still warm from the oven roll them around in icing sugar. Repeat the rolling part when they are cool so that they look pretty, like the Greek shortbread you always see in bakery display cases but never see anyone buying (maybe its dust and not icing sugar? Ew, horrible thought).
Now, warn your guests that they are a little messy but totally worth it. These are super-rich so don’t serve after having eaten, say, a Sunday roast with all the bells and whistles; definitely serve with strong coffee and plenty of idle gossip.
PS: In the absence of idle gossipers, lower your standards just this once and read these over one of those shamelessly trashy gossip mags, the kind who’s headlines promise to expose celebrities looking fat and horrible (a guilty secret – I love those particular articles).