Bourbon button biscuits

In my head, these biscuits have always been Coraline biscuits. Since I first heard from Emma at Emma Jane’s Bakery, her range of adorable cookie stamps have been destined to become part of my mission to bring together two of my favourite things: books and food.

Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline” is a children’s book, but I didn’t come to it until fairly recently, and like most children’s books, it’s amazing when you’re a grown-up (ha!) too. Better, even, perhaps, because stories become so much more.

Coraline is, sort of, a warning about the grass not being greener on the other side. After wishing for a more adventure-filled life, and more attentive parents, Coraline finds another world with an alternative life. All she has to do is sew buttons into her eyes to live with the Other Mother forever. Of course, nothing is as it seems about she has to fight to get back home. But Coraline isn’t really a book about overcoming an adversary against the odds.

Instead, it’s about being brave when the situation looks dire. It’s about rallying all the inner strength you have to get through.


Coraline is a children’s book that carries an adult message. We could all do with a little bravery – whether its in standing up to someone or just dealing with daunting situations. Perhaps you’ve got to hit “send” on a message that will carry a piece of your heart away with it. Sometimes, you just need it to crawl out from under the covers and face the day. This message is, in our house, “Tighten up”, or “Pull up your big girl panties”. And if little button chocolate sandwich biscuits are what you need to remind you of that…well then, so be it.

These faux-bourbons (bourbons themselves are surely a contender for most inappropriately named biscuit) are super easy to pull together and really, really chocolatey. And you have an excuse to lick the spoon afterwards.

Of course, half the joy of them is that they’re so damn cute. Emma Jane’s stamps and cutters work like a dream – no sticking and awkward washing up – and give you really great results. Check out the full range of cookie stamps here, including some gorgeous wedding-themed stamps (I see you, DIYing brides) and the opportunity to order your own bespoke ones.

Recipe adapted from Emma Jane’s Bakery.


100g butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
225g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
Nutella (a few tablespoons?)


1 medium and 2 small mixing bowls
Rolling pin
Cookie stamp & cutter
Baking trays, lined


  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolk, vanilla, and milk. Gradually add the liquid mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.
  2. Mix together the cocoa and flour, then add to the other ingredients and mix well until combined to make the dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for about half an hour.
  3. When chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, to about 4mm thick. Dust the stamp with a little flour, knocking any excess off, and stamp all over. Cut out the biscuits and transfer to your baking trays, a couple of centimetres apart, then refrigerate for a further 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 200C.
  4. Bake the biscuits for 15-18 minutes, until firm. Allow to cool before sandwiching together with Nutella, using the back of a teaspoon to smooth it over the non-stamped side. Leave to firm up for a few hours before serving.

P.S. Sorry about the horribly out of focus photos.

2 thoughts on “Bourbon button biscuits

  1. Sophie says:

    These look great! I’ve made bourbons before, but the filling was pants. Nutella is a much better idea…why invent a job that Nutella can already do!!

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