I decided quite last minute to make biscuits to share with the department on my last day. They weren’t perfect, but there was a lot of crunching going on and only a few left so I think they were a success. I was told I could leave more often, so someone enjoyed them anyway!
I did a quick search and found the recipe for ‘Perfect Ginger Nut Biscuits‘ – sounded good to me!
Ingredients: (I doubled the recipe to make sure I had plenty to share)
250g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
125g butter, softened and diced
150g demerara sugar
75g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
Method: (from the website)
1) Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices together in to a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, making sure they are well combined.
2) Add the butter and, if making by hand, rub in before stirring in the other ingredients to make a dough. If using a mixer (which will be easier) just add the butter, sugar and treacle and mix until well combined, then mix in in the crystallised ginger.
Basically, throw everything in a bowl and mix. It already starts to smell good at this point. I decided to soften my butter a bit, but it ended up being a bit too much…
3) Bring together into a coherent dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thick, wrap in cling film and chill for about 2 hours.
My dough was a bit dry and crumbly so I added a splash of milk. Not too much or it goes sticky (like last time…)
I mixed around the steps here and cut out first, then chilled the shapes (they were nearly stars and Santa, but luckily I found an office and seasonally appropriate cutter). I chilled for as long as it didn’t make bed time ridiculously late, so not very long at that point. And I chilled on baking tray sized bits of greaseproof paper, for ease of dropping onto baking trays before cooking.
Note to self: BUY A ROLLING PIN!!! seriously, I forget this every time I have to bake something flat… In an emergency, a round glass does OK.
4) Heat the oven to 140°C (fan oven)/ 160°C/ gas mark 3. Cut out the biscuits. Arrange, well spaced out, on two lined and buttered baking trays, then bake for 25 minutes.
I think I over-baked mine, I don’t make biscuits often so I forgot how much they firm up as they cool. This explains the crunching in the office – some of them took a bit of effort to take a bite from…
5) Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes until they have firmed up a bit, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
6) Elinor’s special optional step, dip them in dark chocolate 🙂 The tastes work together really well and they seem a lot more luxurious. I simply melted 100g of dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, and dipped the biscuits in. A narrower container would give more dipping depth, I could only get the edges in. I cooled them in the fridge on chopping boards wrapped in cling film, it worked well and the set chocolate peeled off easily.
I made about 40 biscuits in total. They were fairly solid (probably due to my cooking) but had a great ginger flavour, with a nice hint of the treacle as well. Overall, a successful treat 🙂
I now have lots of treacle left, so maybe a treacle tart could be the next project…