Homemade Chocolate Digestives

By • March 3, 2014 • 32 Comments



Author Notes: A digestive is a proper British biscuit dating back to the 19th Century. The name is due to the inclusion in the original recipes of bicarbonate of soda which was believed to help the digestion. A good digestive should be sweet enough to dunk in a cup of tea but savoury enough to serve with a good wedge of cheese. The very best kind of digestives are, in my opinion, the ones dipped in chocolate. I like to make these with whole wheat spelt flour but regular flour will work too. londonbakes

Makes 12 cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dark muscovado sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces dark or milk chocolate, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Put all of the ingredients except for the milk (and chocolate!) into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk, little by little, and pulse again until the dough starts to clump together. You may not need all of the milk.
  3. Gather the dough together with your hands and knead once or twice to bring it together but don't handle it too much.
  4. Place the dough between two pieces of non-stick baking paper and roll it out thinly (about 1/4 inch). If the dough becomes too warm and sticky pop it in the fridge to firm up. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits and place them on the baking tray. Chill for 10 minutes, or until firm.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until just golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. For chocolate digestives, wait until the biscuits have cooled completely and then melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Either dip the cookies in the chocolate or drizzle it over them.
Jump to Comments (32)

Comments (32) Questions (1)

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3 months ago AnnainSydney

These are SO good! Given that they're full of oats and wholewheat flour I feel I can justify eating them for breakfast too! I didn't have spelt flour so I used a combination of whole wheat and rye and it worked really well. My cookie cutter was only 1.5 inches so I started checking them at 10 minutes and took them out of the oven at 12.

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4 months ago Ann Christine

It's me again. The aauthor said they were called digestives due to the bicarb of soda but the recipe calls for baking powder. How will the results vary using the baking soda. I think I would like them crispier, would that change it? Ann Christine

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4 months ago Ann Christine

I made the digestives over the weekend. I did not have muscovado sugar so I added some molasses to brown sugar to make it moister. They are great. I think next time I will roll them thinner so they get crisper. They are yummy with a smear of Nutrella on top before eating them. This is a recipe that could be elaborated on( I think) maybe using toasted oats and adding ground almonds. Have fun. The only thing bad about the "digestive" part of these is that you can eat too many. Ann Christine

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4 months ago Rosa

Always wanted to try baking digestives myself, but somehow I forgot about that, until... an email that mentioned this recipe reminded me. :-)
I used coconut sugar as well (muscovado sugar doesn't seem to be available in any store in the Netherlands). Anyway, the result was lovely and the taste exactly as I hoped for! Almost overbaked them, though... They go really quick when they're in the 'last stage'.

I didn't add the chocolate at the end, but that's more a matter of laziness. ;)

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4 months ago Scribbles

Thanks for this recipe londonbakes - I love digestive cookies and can't wait to try this version at home.

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4 months ago BavarianCook

Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe! I made these over the weekend and refuse to share them with anyone ;) I chopped milk chocolate and sprinkled it on top of the hot biscuits right after they came out of the oven, which melted it right onto them. Simply delightful!!!

Xaiacosq

4 months ago londonbakes

That's such a clever idea!

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5 months ago Elysse

These are great! I used rye instead of spelt flour, and coconut sugar instead of muscovado since those were what I had on hand. I don't have a food processor, so I ground up the dry ingredients in my Vitamix and then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter. I used a 2.5inch biscuit cutter and got 19 cookies by re-rolling and using all of the dough. I did have to bake mine for closer to 20 minutes, though I'm not sure if that's because of my oven, or if my "round cookie cutter" was a larger size than the author used.

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

Rye flour sounds great! Thanks for the feedback on cooking times - I've never had to bake mine for more than 15 minutes but it's useful to know that they may take slightly longer for some people.

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5 months ago Ann Christine

What is muscovado sugar? Can I use brown sugar?

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

Hi Ann, muscavado sugar is unrefined brown sugar with a very strong molassesy flavour. It's slightly deeper in flavour and stickier than brown sugar so you may need a little more liquid but it should work the same.

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5 months ago Rachael Chadwick

Could I replace the butter with oil and if so, what amount would I use?

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

I'm not sure how a liquid oil would work because the recipe relies in cutting the fat into the flour - if I was going to use oil, I'd probably use an equal quantity (by weight) of cold coconut oil to mimic the effect of butter. I hope that helps!

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5 months ago Windischgirl

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this recipe! My fondest memories of my Nana (British by way of Hungary) were sitting in her front room with a cup of milky tea and a couple of chocolate-dipped digestives. They are the perfect cookie--all that whole grain fiber exactly cancelling out the calories from the chocolate. And I have a freezer full of spelt flour! You are now letting me share this tradition with my kids.

Stringio

5 months ago Michelle Kemp-Nordell

Oh, and I too agree that metrics measurements should also be available on this website.

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

Don't disagree with you at all! I'm glad your gluten free version turned out well. You can definitely reduce the sugar if you want a more savoury biscuit and it should be absolutely fine.

Stringio

5 months ago Michelle Kemp-Nordell

I made this with gluten-free oat flour and gluten-free oats. They turned out great. I am going to try to reduce the sugar a little.

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5 months ago Amanda Brooke

These are perfect! I added some orange zest and a pinch of cardamom...just want I was craving. Thank you londonbakes!

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

Oh lovely! That sounds perfect, so glad you liked them.

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5 months ago Anna G

as food52 has so many international readers, it would be really helpful if there were metric equivalents provided in the recipes. I love using digestives on cheese boards. thanks for the recipe

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

Absolutely - if you want metric for these it's 115g of oats, flour and butter and 60g sugar.

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5 months ago heatheranne

I made these last night and they were quick, tasty, and had that digestive cookie taste!!! Love it.

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5 months ago melissa.

made these with a combo of whole wheat and rye flours instead of the spelt...amazing! thanks for the recipe!

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

Yeah! I'm so glad you liked them. Love the idea of using rye flour in there too. Definitely going to try that.

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5 months ago healthinspirations

These look amazing and perfect for someone like me, who always has digestive biscuits at arm's reach. My favorite kind is the chocolate covered too!

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5 months ago ChefCitron

Would these be similar to Duchy Originals Oaten Biscuits (that I love!)? Hoping to ask one quick question: when instructed to add "all ingredients", I assume that excludes the chocolate, correct? Seems chocolate is for final dip, but wanted to check. Thanks! :)

Xaiacosq

5 months ago londonbakes

I think they might be a touch sweeter than the Duchy Originals biscuits but definitely a similar idea. And yes, you're totally right about the chocolate. I'll update to make it clearer.

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5 months ago ChefCitron

That's so much! Can't wait to
make these! :)

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5 months ago RENEE

So great! I didn't even know these were a "thing." Now, off to make these w einkorn and ghee! Weeeeeeeeeee!

Stringio

5 months ago Sandra Laurentino

These look amazing! Thanks for the recipe.