Homemade Chocolate Digestives

March 3, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 12 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 1/3 cups 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 tablespoons milk (may not use all, or may need up to 4 tablespoons)
  • 4 ounces dark or milk chocolate, chopped (optional)
In This Recipe

Directions

  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.

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Reviews (34) Questions (1)

34 Reviews

Deb A. May 4, 2018
Perfect for upcoming royal wedding parties! Tested them out and these will be a hit!
 
bistrobistro December 20, 2014
Delicious! Making them now. Just love how easy and tasty they are. I do think I did something wrong cause I have sooooo many extra (and I've been eating the dough). ;)
 
Maria B. December 17, 2014
I just made these and they are delicious! I had stopped buying digestives because of the hydrogenated oil they were made with, and am so pleased to have found this recipe. I made them in two sizes, 2.5" (6.5 cm.) and 3" (7.5cm.) and preferred the smaller ones because they were crunchier.
 
AnnainSydney April 24, 2014
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.
 
Ann C. March 24, 2014
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
 
Ann C. March 24, 2014
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
 
Rosa March 23, 2014
Always wanted to try baking digestives myself, but somehow I forgot about that, until... an email that mentioned this recipe reminded me. :-)<br />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'.<br /><br />I didn't add the chocolate at the end, but that's more a matter of laziness. ;)
 
Scribbles March 20, 2014
Thanks for this recipe londonbakes - I love digestive cookies and can't wait to try this version at home.
 
BavarianCook March 17, 2014
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!!!
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 19, 2014
That's such a clever idea!
 
Elysse March 16, 2014
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.
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 17, 2014
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.
 
Ann C. March 16, 2014
What is muscovado sugar? Can I use brown sugar?
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 17, 2014
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.
 
Rachael C. March 16, 2014
Could I replace the butter with oil and if so, what amount would I use?
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 17, 2014
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!
 
Windischgirl March 16, 2014
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.
 
Michelle K. March 14, 2014
Oh, and I too agree that metrics measurements should also be available on this website.
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 17, 2014
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.
 
Michelle K. March 14, 2014
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.
 
Amanda B. March 14, 2014
These are perfect! I added some orange zest and a pinch of cardamom...just want I was craving. Thank you londonbakes!
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 17, 2014
Oh lovely! That sounds perfect, so glad you liked them.
 
Anna G. March 13, 2014
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
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 17, 2014
Absolutely - if you want metric for these it's 115g of oats, flour and butter and 60g sugar.
 
heatheranne March 13, 2014
I made these last night and they were quick, tasty, and had that digestive cookie taste!!! Love it.
 
melissa. March 13, 2014
made these with a combo of whole wheat and rye flours instead of the spelt...amazing! thanks for the recipe!
 
Author Comment
londonbakes March 13, 2014
Yeah! I'm so glad you liked them. Love the idea of using rye flour in there too. Definitely going to try that.
 
healthinspirations March 13, 2014
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!