I used to view shop-bought Ginger Nut biscuits with a lot of trepidation when I was young. The sight of a Ginger Nut biscuit was something that made you assess the state of your teeth and general dental health. It was a continuous game of mental chicken. More often than not, I backed out, utterly convinced that biting into a dry Ginger Nut would mean losing all my teeth. So instead, I would resort to a cup of tea and some dunking.
All throughout my childhood, I remember my mother using tonnes of ginger in her baking, so it wasn't a surprise when I visited home recently and found that she had turned her hand to making ginger biscuits. Depending on how long these spend in the oven, it is possible to have soft-chewy biscuits, or alternatively, the more traditional, crunchy ginger biscuit.
The following ingredients will make about 24 biscuits. Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius and line some baking trays with greaseproof/baking paper.
175g plain flour
2 level teaspoons ginger powder
2 level teaspoons baking soda
90ml golden syrup
First of all, you will need to gently warm the golden syrup. You could do this in a saucepan over a gentle heat, but I prefer to measure the golden syrup in a pyrex jug and then place the jug in the oven until the syrup has thinned and has pouring consistency.
Meanwhile, sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Once the syrup is ready, pour it into the dry ingredients and mix well. A dough should form easily and you will end up with a smooth, glossy paste.
Using your hands, form small balls (think a large cherry tomato) and arrange well apart on your baking sheets. You can make larger shapes, if you like, which will give you more substantial and chewy cookies. Place the sheets in the oven and bake for
(a) 10-15 mins or until lightly golden, if you want to maintain chewiness or
(b) 15-20 mins or until dark golden, if you want a more traditional cruncy biscuit.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool on the tray. Once the biscuits have solidified and are cool, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.