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Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs - why buy store bought when you can make these delicious biscuits at home?

Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I thought I would bring some Irish flavor to my desserts and share with you a biscuit that is very popular on the Emerald Isle–Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs.

They are best described as an oaty shortbread with chocolate on top. Biscuits in Ireland are not the same as the soft American biscuits, they are a cookie. However cookies can be soft and chewy where as biscuits are mostly crips and crunchy, with no softness.

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Biscuit are made to be enjoyed with a cup of tea. Dunking them in your tea is what softens them. The Irish are a nation of tea drinkers.

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Tea is consumed morning, noon and night in my house. Even living in the States now I still carry on the tradition and have tea time everyday around 3 o’clock. I sit down, watch my stories and have a cup of Irish tea.

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I love making homemade versions of baked good that are commonly bought in the store. I have a fantastic recipe for Homemade Graham Crackers that taste just like the real thing.

4.7 from 13 votes
Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs - why buy store bought when you can make these delicious biscuits at home?
Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Servings: 20 Hobnobs
Author: butterbaking.com
Ingredients
  • 8 ½ tablespoons (125g / 4oz) unsalted butter
  • cup (80g / 3 oz) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • cup (100g / 3½ oz) porridge oats
  • cup (100g / 3½ oz) wholemeal flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt , to taste
  • cup (100g ) chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons ( 30g / 1 oz) unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F /180 C and line a few trays with parchment paper.
  2. With a hand or stand mixer cream the butter and the brown sugar until pale, fluffy and smooth.
  3. Add the golden syrup and beat until it's incorporated.
  4. On a low speed, mix in the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Once the dry and wet ingredients are evenly combined bring the dough together into a ball, wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Roll the dough into small balls about the size of a tablespoon and flatten on the tray until they are about 2 inches in diameter. Be sure to leave a bit of room between the cookies for spreading.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown, then allow to cool on the trays.
  8. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave.
  9. Spoon a teaspoon of chocolate onto the top of each cookie and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon.
  10. Once the chocolate has slightly set swirl your spoon across the chocolate working your way down the cookie in the shape of a figure eight. This will create that beautiful classic hobnob look!
  11. Allow to set before enjoying/dunking into tea.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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58 Comments

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  1. Sue on November 12, 2018 at 1:31 am

    I’m in Australia eating McVities Hobnobs after dinner. I’m so glad to have found this recipe and can’t wait to try them.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      Aw I’m delighted to hear that, Sue :).

      Best,
      Gemma.

  2. Lacy Jay Slatton on October 20, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Ok, so, I made them, and they turned into tuiles! They spread so thin! They smell wonderful and I’m sure they taste good, but they look nothing like the pictures. I chilled the dough for 20 minutes and did my ingredients by weight. What might I have done wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 20, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Lacy, let me check the recipe on my end. Because that really shouldn’t have happened to you.

      Gemma.

      • Lacy Jay Slatton on October 20, 2018 at 9:02 pm

        Thanks so much!

  3. Lacy on October 13, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Is there a particular type of chocolate to use for these? Semisweet, unsweetened, etc.? Thanks in advance!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Lacy! I always recommend a good bittersweet chocolate with 72% cocoa solids or more. I hope you enjoy!

      • Lacy on October 14, 2018 at 9:00 pm

        Thanks so much! Looking forward to making these.

      • Lacy on October 20, 2018 at 10:41 am

        These really spread for me. The first batch I put in came out practically as tuiles. What am I doing wrong?

        • Gemma Stafford on October 20, 2018 at 8:04 pm

          oh no, that’s odd. Did you chill the dough before baking?

          Also just double double check your measurements because something sounds off.

          Best,
          Gemma.

  4. Robin on June 6, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Hi I made these hobnobs with and without choc mint. Both fantastic and easy to remember. Took pics but don’t know how to post them.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Robin,
      Thank you for this kind review of this recipe, and for telling us about your own flavors.
      I would be delighted to see your photos. At the bottom of the recipe there is a SUBMIT your own photo button. You can follow the steps there.
      good to have you baking with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Tatiana on May 27, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Can I substitute the golden syrup for honey? I think I can’t buy it in my country.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 28, 2018 at 4:03 am

      Hi Tatiana,
      Yes, that will work well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Nanann on May 6, 2018 at 6:01 am

    I had a street stall to bake for yesterday. I had never heard of Hobnobs before, but I thought that I’d give these a try – fortunately I kept a few to try at home. These are wonderful and will definitely be a regular at our house from now on !

    • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2018 at 4:07 am

      Yea!
      Good for you, I love the idea of the street stall, well done, what fun!
      May bake sale went really well too, very happy with the outcome, thanks to all who supported it,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Nanann on May 8, 2018 at 4:51 am

        I was thinking about you. So glad it all went well ! We were fundraising for our local Historical Society 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on May 8, 2018 at 5:10 am

          Hi there,
          Thank you, we had a great day, such fun and raised a lot of money which will be doubled by our sponsors. I hope you had a great day too, it is a lovely community thing to do, it cannot fail really.
          Good to have oyu with us,
          Gemma 🙂

  7. Cortnie Parson on April 16, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I have whole wheat pastry flour. Would that be acceptable for these cookies, or do I need to buy whole wheat flour? Ty

    • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, I cannot see a good reason not to use this, I never found that one!
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Melissa Hill on March 14, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Made these today just as written,(well almost, can’t get golden syrup here ) used light corn syrup. They are amazing!!!! Can’t stop eating them..Thank you Gemma, I love your blog..making your Irish soda bread and Dublin Coddle for St Patrick’s day.!!! Now what beverage would apply?!!! Oh yes I know, anything in a Jamisons bottle..

    • Gemma Stafford on March 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Haha!
      Yes, and Dublin coddle was really a meal from the Liberties, so close to the Guinness factory, so, you can opt for that, if stuck of course.
      Otherwise ‘Jemmy’ as it is called!
      I am happy to hear about the hob nobs! I did not try the corn syrup, and I know that Tate & Lyle are missing a trick in the US!
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Emberwing on March 5, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Hello Gemma,

    Ever since I came upon your website I have made these decadent hobnobs almost every weekend, is it possible for you to make a video for this specific recipe, where I live in Montréal, quebec, Canada, it is very easy to find all the right ingrédients for this recipe, I just love to see you cook and bake!
    Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 7, 2018 at 4:06 am

      Hi there,
      good! I am really happy you like this recipe.
      We may indeed make a video of this recipe, there are a few bonus recipes here on the website, which are not on YouTube, but it is a good idea.
      good that you are here with us in beautiful Montreal.
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Agen Vimax di Makassar on March 4, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Hi allie,
    That is great, it is always goood to have a go to cookie recipe.
    Adding some seeds to the flapjacks is also a great idea, adding a huge nutritional punch too,
    Gemma 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2018 at 3:58 am

      Yes, and great to get your ideas and input too, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Zenia L on March 3, 2018 at 8:38 am

    I forgot to rate these in my last comment/question! LoL While I really want to give it five stars, for some reason it will only let me rate 4…Truly if I could, I’d rate it 10! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  12. Zenia L on March 3, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Hi Gemma 🙂
    We love these biscuits and I bake them frequently now! They couldn’t turn out more perfectly when the recipe is followed exactly. I ordered Golden Syrup online as it’s not found here locally and the difference between using the golden syrup versus honey or maple syrup was so worth the order!
    The recipe states to refrigerate for 15-20 minutes prior to baking. Which is usually never a problem.
    However, if I want to make the dough ahead of time to bake later in the day when I get home, will refrigerating for a longer period affect the end result? I’d really hate to ruin a good thing!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2018 at 5:49 am

      Hi Zenia,
      Yes, you are right, the golden syrup is so worth it! It is an invert sugar, heading for a caramel, and is very delicious!
      you are also right in that following a recipe precisely really matters, especially for bakers who are not experienced. Experienced bakers know how to substitute without any problems. you can certainly leave this dough in the fridge, well wrapped, for a few days really. All will be well.
      Well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Marilyn on January 26, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Really wanted to make these cookies but cannot find these ingredients: golden syrup, porridge oats, wholemeal flour.
    Have even travelled to a Trader Joe’s & a Whole Foods and don’t see them on the shelf. Can you suggest a substitution?
    Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 27, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Marilyn,

      So for the golden syrup you can use maple syrup. And porridge is oatmeal so buy any oatmeal oats.

      Wholemeal flour is whole wheat flour that you can find at Vons, safeway, tj’s or whole foods.

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

      • Marilyn on January 27, 2018 at 4:49 pm

        Thanks for your response

  14. Pamela on January 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    I made this recipe a few weeks ago and followed the recipe exactly. The cookies spread out quite a bit, but were still delicious. I made them again today and increased the whole wheat flour to just scant of one cup. Perfection! Absolutely delicious and better than the real thing! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 22, 2018 at 2:13 am

      Hi Pamela,
      Thank you for letting us know the adjustment you made to this recipe, well done, it sounds like it was perfect.
      Flours in different places behave in different ways, depending on how, when, where and type of wheat being milled, so there can indeed be variations in how liquids are absorbed.
      Good to have your input here,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Chit on January 7, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Hi gemma. Am excited to do this. Ingredients very aimilar to my home famous oatmeal cookies beem baking for yours. However been using corn oil instead of butter. My question tho is would powdered chocolate work as well? Thanks so much for your generous heart sharing what you enjoy in IRELAND!!!! My bucket list! Have you come across the book ‘
    “Angelas ashes” and “Tis” by an irish author! Love him!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 7, 2018 at 2:36 am

      Hi Chit,
      Yes, Angela’s Ashes is certainly a very well know book, by a man called Frank McCourt, who sadly died in recent times. A reflection of a very bleak time in our little country, we have moved on from that, in general.
      I am not sure how you would use thr powdered chocolate for these cookies, apart from in them, it would not have been usual. In their first iteration they did not have any chocolate, and were just as popular really.
      I do hope you get to Ireland, it is a modern country now, full of life and a fun place to be, and see.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Wendy on October 27, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    How can I adapt this recipe to make orange chocolate hob nobs please.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 29, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Hi Wendy.

      You can grate a tablespoon of orange zest into the cookie dough 🙂

  17. Perignem on October 6, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Hi Gemma,
    many thanks for this wonderful recipe. In Germany we do not get Hobnobs but I knew them from literature and movies so I wanted to try and now I love them. Guess I will never buy any cookies in the store again now that I know your homepage.
    I use spelt as the wholemeal flour, by the way, and it works fine.
    Best, Pina

    • Gemma Stafford on October 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Hi,

      I’m delighted you tried these, and had success with split flour.

      Can’t beat a Hobnob and a cup of tea 🙂
      Gemma.

  18. Neicy Murphy on August 8, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Loved this recipe Gemma! Only complaint here was I only made one batch (I usually do this with all new recipes). Will Defoe double up next time. My wholemeal flour of choice is yours extra course which left the mixture a little dry but they cooked beautifully. Kids went overboard with chocolate decoration so might have to make a bit extra for next time.

    For me these are all store cupboard ingredients so they could be as easily whipped up when expecting guests too. Its a rainy day here in Cork so was lovely to spend it baking.

    Thanks again,
    Denise

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2017 at 3:05 am

      Hi Neicy,
      This may be a repeated response, the website was going through maintenance, and some of the comments vanished!
      good to know that you enjoyed this recipe, and good to know that you are in Cork! My Mum was born on South Terrace in cork, and this is her claim to fame!
      I am delighted you find this recipe useful, and it will be good for the lunch boxes too, perhaps without the chocolate!
      Thank you for being here with us, and for your contribution, we lwarn from each other here on BBB,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Lynn on August 7, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Is it essential to use unsalted butter? Can you use ordinary butter and leave out the salt in the recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 8, 2017 at 6:00 am

      Hi Lynn,
      Yes, that is perfectly possible. We grew up with salted butter in Ireland, and it was commonly used in the UK too, so it is what I am used to, and what I use when I can get my Kerrygold!
      Gemma 🙂

  20. kynetonkid on July 31, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Hi Gemma – Can I assume that these biscuits are hard like our Aussie Anzac biscuit? I think I failed. The dough was quite soft and although I could roll them into balls they spread and were flat and chewy. I will try again tomorrow and be more careful with my ingredients.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2017 at 3:08 am

      Hi there,
      Add more flour! This is due to the difference in flour in different places. A little more really changes this. The type of grain, where, when and how it is milled all affects how liquids are absorbed. I do hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Hannah.C on May 26, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Is wholewheat flour the same as oat flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 27, 2017 at 2:57 am

      Hannah, good question!
      No, wholewheat/wholemeal flour is made from milled wheat.
      Oat flour is made from oats.
      The important thing to know is that oat flour is either gluten free, or very low in gluten, depending on where it is milled. Oat flour is a great addition to breads, but not great on its’ own.
      Yeast baking relies on gluten, and the gluten must be available, this is a problem with some coarse ground wholemeal/wholewheat flours, unless they have been processed for the purpose.
      Hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Allie on April 11, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    I just found this recipe and now i have to make them. I adore Hobnobs! My day is so much better!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Hi allie,
      That is great, it is always goood to have a go to cookie recipe.
      Adding some seeds to the flapjacks is also a great idea, adding a huge nutritional punch too,
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Moneim on April 5, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Hi my bigger-bolder-baking “lecturer”!
    First and foremost, let me express my thankfulness to you for being such a creative and “tasty” chef. I am Sudanese living in Cairo, Egypt. I enjoy baking. I find great help from you in this regard as you make things so easy and fun by your demonstrative and illustrative skills and gift.

    However, my experience with the homemade chocolate hobnobs was a total failure! I followed your instruction precisely except for wholemeal flour and golden syrup which were substituted by all purpose flour and honey respectively. The other thing is the temperature. My oven has no temp marks nor do I have a thermometer instead! The result was a very thin (2.5 mm) thick and flattened pieces (3.5 in) diameter! I wish I could upload a picture of it in this comment.
    I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. Your invaluable advice will highly be appreciated. Thank you in advance, sweet Gemma.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 5, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Hi there,
      Well, the problem is that you changed the recipe!
      Different flours have different relationships with other ingredients. I would expect what happened to you if I also used plain/all purpose flour.
      The honey is not so much an issue, but you need the bulk of the wholewheat flour for this recipe.
      There are other recipes here on the website which may suit you better, but this one depends on the wholewheat flour, sorry,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Sonia on March 31, 2017 at 2:08 am

    How can I substitute golden syrup?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2017 at 2:20 am

      Hi Sonia,
      This is like a caramelized sugar really. There are a number of recipes for this online. (https://cookpad.com/us/recipes/334096-vickys-homemade-golden-syrup-like-tate-lyles) this is one I like. If this seems like a lot of trouble then use honey, I prefer a liquid one, it is easier to use. The liquid sugars are the glue for this recipe!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sonia on March 31, 2017 at 5:12 am

        Thanks Gemma! 🙂

  25. Kesia on March 30, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Thanks..

  26. Kesia on March 29, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Hey gemma,
    Two questions:
    1.can we substitute the wholewheat flour for normal flour?
    2. Is porridge oats the same as rolled oats?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 29, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Hi Kesia,
      Good questions!
      Yes, but if you change the flour you will have a different biscuit/cookie.
      Porridge oats are the same as rolled oats, sometimes. Rolled oats look like little circles. some porridge, particularly the instant types have been processed to help them to cook quicker, and these are not so good for these recipes, but they will work to some extent if you cannot get rolled oats.
      Hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

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