Noughts and crosses spiced chocolate biscuits

By Gus Bristed

Featured in Capital #90
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These bikkies are famous at Capital HQ as an absolute top-tier addition to morning tea. As a birthday present to us, we asked Gus Bristed, our distribution specialist, to share this secret recipe so our readers can enjoy it as much as we do.

Soft-textured cookies, packed with chocolate chunks, and rounded off with a warming chilli kick, these biscuits are ideal for sweet and savoury palates alike.

While a game of noughts and crosses gets boring after three rounds, these certainly won’t. 

Makes about 34

Helpful items:

  • a silicone scraper
  • a small implement for cutting the cross
  • a small-mouthed glass to create the nought

200g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon chilli powder – be very precise or it will overwhelm
200g chocolate bits, or small chunks of chopped dark chocolate, ideally softened a little

To outline the shapes and for dusting:
1⁄2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla, beating until well combined.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and chilli powder. Add to the creamed mixture and combine.
  3. Mix in the chocolate bits, and chill the mixture for 1 hour. (If you have strong-smelling things in your fridge, cover the mixture.)
  4. Preheat your oven to 175°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  5. Sift the icing sugar and dusting cinnamon into a bowl and set aside.
  6. Place tablespoon-sized balls of mixture on the lined trays, allowing room for spreading. On alternating rows, carve a broad cross or a circle on each biscuit. Bake for 15–18 minutes, or until the biscuits are just starting to brown on the base.
  7. Carefully remove from the oven and let them cool till safe to move. Wire racks are not recommended unless the paper is placed entirely upon them. Gently place the warm biscuits in the icing sugar mixture, one at a time, then on another wire rack to cool completely.


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