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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.

Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20 Hobnobs
  • 8 ½ tablespoons (125g / 4oz) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup (80g / 3 oz) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ⅔ cup (100g / 3½ oz) porridge oats
  • ⅔ cup (100g / 3½ oz) wholemeal flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • ⅔ cup (100g ) chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons ( 30g / 1 oz) unsalted butter
  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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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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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  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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


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

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

  4. 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,

    • 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 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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. ( 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! 🙂

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


  12. 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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