Foolproof Ginger Biscuits

Tim Boden

Tim Boden has been a grumpy old man since he was about 13. Born and raised in the darkest East Midlands, he now lives in Australia as part of an ongoing project to avoid getting a proper job and settling down for as long as reasonably possible. His interests include comics, beer, rugby league, 20th-century history and other things mostly favoured by middle-aged men who spend a lot of time in sheds. He has very strong opinions on vegetables.

Ginger BiscuitsSo, I was meant to submit another article about movies this week. However, the only film I’ve seen lately was The Hobbit, which we’ve already covered at some length. Which is rather apt, really, but now my deadline is approaching with the speed of a pack of hungry Wargs, and instead of planning out an article, I spent all afternoon baking.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d share a recipe. Not that I wish to usurp the place of Flora, who I’m sure is a far better cook than I am, but this particular recipe is so easy than even a cack-handed and chronically impatient baker like me can’t mess it up, and so good that my family specifically request it as a gift. Once you’ve tried these babies, you’ll never go back to McVities.

 

You will need:

– 285g plain flour
– 200g sugar (half caster sugar, half light brown sugar, if possible, but it’s okay with just one or the other)
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 2 tsps ground ginger
– 1 and a half tsps of baking powder
– 170g butter or margarine
– 1 tbsp golden syrup or clear honey
– 2 tbsps milk

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3. Put some greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

2. Put all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

3. Get a pan and melt the butter and syrup together over a gentle heat, making sure they don’t boil. Pour the melted mixture into the mixing bowl, add the milk, and then mix it all together. Resist the urge to eat handfuls of raw dough.

4. Shape the mixture into little balls and put them on the baking tray. Pat the balls – if anyone else is in the house, now is the time to loudly inform them that you are busy in the kitchen patting some balls – so they’re a little bit flattened and more biscuity-looking.

Important tip! Make sure you don’t use too much dough for each biscuit, and leave lots of room between each one. All that baking powder means they spread out a lot when cooked, which I learned the hard way when one batch ended up baking together into a solid tray-shaped rectangle of biscuit.

5. Bake for 15-18 mins until golden-brown and generally done-looking. Then take them out and leave them to cool.

And that’s it! It’s quick, it’s easy, and your kitchen will smell amazing afterwards.

If you’re feeling fancy, throwing some chunks of stem ginger into the mix before baking adds extra flavour and texture, and while I’ve not tried it, I’m willing to bet that adding in the zest of an orange would also be a tasty variation. The plain version is great just as it is, though, particularly dunked into a nice cup of coffee.