Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ginger Nuts Recipe

There’s something about ginger nuts. Nowhere near as glamorous as a chocolate biscuit, lacking the festive credentials of shortbread or the kid-appeal of Zoo biscuits, the ginger nut has nevertheless held its own in the biscuit barrel for more than 100 years, sneaking into the shopping basket even when times are tough and choccy biccies beyond the budget.

It’s plain enough to be an everyday, morning cup of tea dunking biscuit, perhaps that’s its secret, and its humble unassuming demeanour conceals a spicy punch to the palate.

Recently I was feeling restless, wanting to bake something different, but nothing too fancy. Ginger was the flavour on my mind, and riffling through my recipe books I came across Delia Smith’s recipe for Ginger Nuts. Instant decision. No weird ingredients, all pantry staples and easy to throw together.

I did wonder how close they’d be to the classic packet ginger nut, but they came out winners all round. Same crackle creviced top, good crunchy bite, dunk well and taste every bit as gingery.

The best thing is that being home-made they don’t have any hidden ‘bad’ ingredients – no e-numbers or questionable fats And the other best thing is that they are far more substantial and satisfying than a packet biscuit, so you don’t end up scoffing half the packet in one sitting.

I took one look at the recipe and doubled up the ingredients,  so if you don’t have a hungry flock of starlings to feed and are restrained in your ginger nut consumption feel free to halve the quantities back again.

Ginger Nuts recipe
220g / 8oz plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 rounded teaspoons ground ginger
80g / 3oz brown or white sugar
100g / 4oz butter
4 tablespoons golden syrup

Oven 190C / 375F
2 greased baking trays

Makes about 32 biscuits

Sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarb, ginger, sugar).

Rub in the butter (doesn’t matter if it is soft or hard really, we’re not talking pastry here!)

Mix in the golden syrup and keep mixing until it comes together in a sticky dough.

Form the dough into small balls (the usual walnut size is about right – around 32 in all from this quantity)

Place the balls well spaced on the greased tray. Flatten slightly with a wooden spoon.

Bake for  10-15 minutes until they are a dark gold and firm at the edges. They will firm up more as they cool.

Leave to cool on tray for about 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Don’t eat them all at once, as they keep nicely in an airtight tin!

P.S. I'm just about to bake yet another batch this afternoon. Yesterday after school a daughter dipped her hand into the biscuit barrel and her face fell as it came out empty. So we need a constant supply in the house from now on to avoid those after school blues.

1 comment:

  1. Kit - you made me giggle with that line "so you don't end up scoffing the whole packet at one sitting." Ginger cookies are one of my all-time favorites, and I guarantee the ones you made taste way better than the ones in a packet, which just means I'd be eating twice the number AND drinking all the milk in the house! 8-) Dunking in tea is fine, but when I'm on a ginger cookie binge, a huge glass of cold milk is my favorite sidekick.


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