Monday, 18 November 2013

Ginger Snaps

Ginger in all its guises is just the MOST wonderful spice.

Without a doubt my favourite things to have with a good strong cup of tea, are a slice of liberally buttered homemade ginger cake (which I make with ground ginger, grated fresh ginger and some finely chopped stem ginger) or ginger biscuits.

I have always had a particular fondness for ginger snaps with their cracked surfaces, crunchy texture and strong flavour hit of ginger. Luckily these are one of the easiest biscuits to make and they taste far superior to their mass-produced counterparts. They are great to bake with children, who love dividing up the dough into small balls, rolling them between their hands and then flattening them on the baking trays prior to cooking. 

These biscuits use ground ginger which gives a spicy, almost peppery warmth that just goes so well with strong hot tea. In fact, I believe that these biscuits, although a treat must also have psychological and health benefits, because I always feel so good after eating them. 

There’s nothing frivolous or over-the-top about these biscuits. They are what they purport to be; - ginger biscuits. However, they should not be dismissed as run-of-the-mill or ordinary because these are biscuits that are easy to make, straightforward and reliable in character and… oh… almost forgot - they taste so good! 

Ingredients:

350g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
1 tblsp ground ginger
125g butter
75g golden syrup
1 egg, beaten
Grated zest of half an orange

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Fan 140C/Gas Mark 3.Line two baking trays with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to mix into the other dry ingredients.
3. Heat the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a moderate heat until the butter has melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly to form a firm dough. Use your hands to shape the dough into approximately 30 small, even-sized balls.
4. Place the balls onto the baking sheet leaving space between them so that they have enough room to spread out. Flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until cooked through and a rich golden colour. Allow to cool on the trays for about five minutes and then, when cool enough to handle transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When they are first removed from the oven, the biscuits will appear quite soft, but don’t worry the biscuits quickly firm up on cooling. These biscuits can be stored in an air-tight container for three or four days.
 
Makes approximately 30 biscuits.