These are the favourite all time biscuits from my pile of cut-out torn-out half-remembered and improvised recipe collection. My grandchildren love them – our local UKIP customer at the market, with her ‘Say no to the euro’ badge proudly displayed, queues to buy them. ( I guess they are a fine symbol of earthy British taste – we fought wars for spices in the past so it must be part of our tradition.) I even took a box on a sailing holiday – as they are said to ward off sea-sickness. I have since heard that may not really be true – but they were devoured with alacrity.
Once you have got the balance of fat/syrup just right, these ginger biscuits are as near foolproof as can be. I occasionally make a box of ‘misshapes’ and give them to my son to take to work – but I don’t think they get that far. So here is the recipe – I would emphasise the importance of baking these on parchment paper so they don’t stick and they don’t sit on a greasy tray. When I have made the little balls of dough, ready to put on the tray – I take each one and gently roll it in my palms until I can feel it slightly sticky. At this point I feel it is ready to pop on the tray as it has its own oily coating and will cook and spread and crackle just as it should. The recipe I use tells me to use the ‘melting method’ but I have always ignored that – so here is what I do.
Dorset Dunking Gingers
130g. self raising flour
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. bicarbonate soda
200g. castor sugar
115 g unsalted butter
85g golden syrup
1 medium free range egg, beaten
35- 40g stem ginger ( drained and chopped)
3 baking trays, lined with parchment paper (try Aldi for great value parchment paper and remember you can re-use by reversing!)
Sift the flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
Put the butter and sugar into a mixer and beat together until soft. Add the syrup and beaten egg along with the ginger pieces until absorbed. Mix in the flour mixture gently – using a wooden spoon or spatula to help the process.
When it is all combined, roll into a log. Divide the log into half and then quarters. Each quarter represents 6 biscuits – so divide into two and then each piece is 3 ! I find this the easiest way to deal with this kind of baking – otherwise I have ended up with huge cookies at the start of baking and mini morsels at the end!
Once the division is done, roll each piece into a ball, using your hands. Arrange on the prepared baking trays, spacing well apart as they will spread. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 mins, until a good golden brown. Keep an eye on them and maybe turn them once during the baking so they brown evenly. You will know they are ready when they crack – then sink. Depending on how crunchy you like them, you can take them out at any point after that. Some of us like to chew – others to crunch and of course many of us are dunkers!
Leave to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container – or just let the family eat them! These gingers keep remarkably well in an airtight tin – probably two weeks.