These pretty and tasty cookies are a fabulous addition to your recipe book and achievable at all skill levels. Viennese whirls have a delicate, short texture and a delicious buttery flavour and can be filled with jam, curd, icing, ganache – so much to choose from so be creative!
For the prettiest piping, a large “open star nozzle” is handy to have, but these will taste no less scrumptious by being piped from a snipped freezer bag, so don’t let a lack of nozzles hold you back.
– what you’ll need
250g very soft Irish butter
50g icing sugar, plus extra to decorate
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1-2 tbsp of milk
– Vanilla Buttercream and Jam (The traditional version!)
100g soft Irish butter
200g icing sugar, sieved
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
75g seedless raspberry jam
– what you’ll need to do
1. Preheat your oven to 190C/170C fan-assisted, and prepare two sheets of baking parchment, each trimmed to fit a large, shallow (or flat) baking tray.
2. Take a piece of paper and trace some circles on to the paper, about 5inches in diameter and spaced apart evenly, with at least an inch separating each circle. You can place this under your parchment paper as a guide when you pipe your whirls to ensure they are nice and uniform in size. TIP: a small scone cutter or the base of a small drinking glass are handy for tracing around here.
3. In a mixer, or using electric beaters, cream the well-softened Irish butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
4. Sieve the flour and cornflour twice to mix it well together, then add to the butter and sugar and mix until combined and smooth. Unlike mixing a cake batter, we don’t need to worry about folding gently to keep air in the mix. Instead, it’s important to get a smooth and well mixed dough which will pipe easily.
5. Add a tablespoon of milk to begin with, only adding the second if your mix feels very stiff. To allow you to pipe with ease, you’re looking for a dough which is nice and soft but not liquid and still capable of holding its shape.
6. Spoon half of the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Using only half of the dough at a time prevents you from over-filling your piping bag and gives you far more control when piping
7. Gently massage the dough in the piping bag for a minute or two – this will slightly soften it, making it easier to pipe.
8. Place your template under your baking parchment and pipe whirls of dough, using your traced circles as guides. Do not panic if they aren’t entirely uniform or circular – practice helps and they’ll taste fab regardless.
9. Bake in the centre of your preheated oven for 10-13 minutes or until the whirls are firm to the touch with edges which are hinting at golden brown. If your oven is uneven, make sure to rotate your tray halfway during the bake to allow even colouring.
10. Cool your whirls on the baking tray for five minutes to let them firm up, before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
11. Repeat the piping and baking until you have used all your dough.
12. To make your filling, beat the butter until pale in colour and soft in texture, then add the icing sugar and vanilla and mix until light and whippy. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
13. Spread a little jam onto the flat base of half of the biscuits. Pipe the buttercream icing onto the remaining biscuits and sandwich each together with a jammy half. Put on a serving plate and give them a little dusting of icing sugar as a finishing touch. Enjoy!