Monday, 24 October 2011

Yorkshire Gingernuts

Recipe Number One Hundred & Seven:  Page 205.

This weekend is one I shall choose to forget! We had a downstairs toilet fitted. It wouldn't have been much a problem if it weren't for the fact that all the pipework had to go through the kitchen. The oven, all the drawers and units had to be taken out! My poor kitchen; I almost shed a tear! Not only was the house in utter chaos but my little boy had a cold and, on Sunday morning, I woke up to be greeted by a sore throat, oh marvellous! I decided to feel sorry for myself all day and then see if I could shoehorn myself into the bomb-site which we used to call a kitchen to do some much needed baking.

Thankfully, all of my ingredients were easy to find. It was more of a challenge digging out the baking trays from the drawers which were now conveniently located on the living room floor!! I needed three baking trays as the recipe should make fifty gingernuts. I am fond of gingernuts but I was rather worried about the large quantity. They would definitely have to be distributed among our neighbours!

The first task was to melt some butter in a saucepan along with a small dollop of golden syrup. This was simple enough and I was soon moving onto the next part of the recipe. I measured some self raising flour into my mixing bowl followed by a mixture of sugars. I liked the sound of Demerara and muscovado together. The combination should make the biscuits crunchy and compliment the ginger flavour well. Speaking of which, I only required a teaspoon of ground ginger, which I thought a little sparing. To the bowl of dried ingredients I poured in the melted mixture, which looked a lot like golden honey. Suddenly I fancied honey on toast! The final job was to crack an egg into a glass, give it a little bit of a beating and then pour it into the mixing bowl and combine.

I ended up with a large lump of dough. I started the fairly laborious task of pulling off small pieces and shaping into balls. I still couldn't help wondering what I was going to do with all these biscuits. I hoped they tasted good; if they did, then it wouldn't be an issue! I placed the pieces of dough onto the baking trays, spaced well apart. The oven was set on low so they took around 20 minutes to cook. When taking the biscuits from the oven I was surprised that there had hardly been any spreadage. I needn't have worried about them all sticking together. The gingernuts were very much on the petite size; no wonder the mixture made so many! It was easy to transfer my little gingery biscuits over to a wire rack to cool. They hardened up quickly and I liked the cracked appearance on the surface of the biscuit.

Now for the part I always look forward to, sinking my teeth in and taking a bite! Well, it took a little longer for my teeth to sink in than usual. I certainly won't be passing one on to Isaac or anyone with fillings or false teeth! They are so hard and crunchy! However, once I had managed to take the first bite, eating the biscuit became more of a pleasure. Yes, they were very hard, but the flavour was lovely. The taste of the muscovado sugar and syrup was very noticeable. The ginger was a little harder to detect, maybe a bit too subtle for my own taste. I think another teaspoon would have given it more of a kick! I do wonder if I overbaked these gingernuts; just an extra minute or two in the oven can spell disastrous consequences! Having said that, part of a gingernut’s charm is its crunch, so I won't lose any sleep over it!
Only for those with strong teeth!

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