Vienesse Whirls are a British treat thought to be inspired by Austrian pastries. The biscuit is normally piped in a pretty swirly shape (as seen on Mr Kipling packets) and then filled with buttercream and jam. My piping went completely wrong, so I used a cookie cutter to make little shortbread biscuits with the mixture instead (hence renaming them Vaguely Viennese Whirls!) This was much easier and the result was still absolutely delicious – sweet, creamy and crumbly.
If you have never made shortbread before it really is straightforward, and if you don’t have cookie cutters you can use the top of a glass to cut out the biscuit shape instead. Try and eat the Vienesse Whirls when they are still slightly warm as not much beats that. If there are any left then keep them at room temperature as the fridge ruins them!
Thank you to Mary Berry for the recipe.
Vaguely Vienesse Whirls (tricky to say how many this makes – around 16 small ones)
For the biscuits
250g unsalted butter, softened (I do this in 20 second spurts in the microwave)
50g icing sugar
250g plain flour
For the filling
100g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
Raspberry or strawberry jam (1/2 a jar is more than enough – with pips in is best but not essential)
For the biscuit dough, preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5. Line 3 baking sheets with baking/greaseproof paper. Measure the butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy ( a couple of minutes should do). Gradually add the flour and beat a little more, until thoroughly mixed. Put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes until the mixture is still soft but firm enough to roll out. With a rolling pin start to roll out the dough until it is about as thick as a £1 coin. It helps to press lightly and ensure both the surface and rolling pin are floured to prevent sticking. You can use your hands to help press it out too if you like. Use a cookie cutter or top of a glass/cup to cut the dough in to circle shapes (any size you like as long as they are all the same size – but not too big). Carefully place the biscuits on the lined baking trays, ensuring about 2 inches between them so they don’t expand in to each other.
Bake the biscuits in the oven for 10—15 minutes, until a pale golden-brown, very carefully turning over halfway through. Leave to cool a little on the baking sheets (it’s okay if they are still a little warm but not too much or the buttercream filling will melt).
For the filling, measure the butter into a bowl and add the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a fork or whisk until slightly lighter (about 1 minute). Spoon the buttercream on top of a cooled biscuit then spoon a little jam onto that, then sandwich it together with another biscuit. Repeat this until all the biscuits have been used. Eat alongside a cup of tea!