13 July 2011

Gran's Ginger Biscuits

Isn't it funny how any hand-me-down recipe simply has to be pre-fixed with the original 'creators' name; Aunt Sally's Apple Pie, Mum's Pasta Bake...Gran's Ginger Biscuits. They are not just ginger biscuits, god no! They are Gran's ginger biscuits and it would feel wrong to call them otherwise! These are my family's favourite biscuit by far and of course hold incredible sentimental value, being the first biscuit I ever learnt to make with my extraordinary Grandma and proceeded to make pretty much every friday (unless the afore mentioned Butterfly cakes made an appearance) up until she very sadly passed away in 2007.

She was an inspiration; a talented, SO so intelligent and sharp lady with incredibly strong morals. Aged 92, she still played the organ for the Church every Sunday, baked prize-winning cakes with the Women's Institute, knitted gorgeous blankets for charity and took me with her to play bingo every Thursday :) amazing until the very end.
But these are not just our favourite munchies for sentimental reasons, they are absolutelllyyyyy divine. They may not look like much, but they are gorgeously crisp (we are definitely what ive read are called 'anger eaters' in this house, preferring a satisfyingly crunchy snack, although I hope this doesn't reflect on personality...!) and have a flavour that far exceeds their modest exterior, every bite resulting in an oh so warming and comforting envelopment of spice that only a perfectly balanced gingersnap can give. Oh yes, I don't think ive mentioned...they are PERFECT for dunking :)
Im not going to over-guild the lily on this post, that wasn't my Gran's style, but this post is for her. I sincerely hope you try this recipe and pleaseplease if you do, let me know how it turns out for you. It is the recipe I hold dearest to me, and just perhaps it will also become your family's favourite to be passed down the generations on a scruffy cherished handwritten recipe card

Gran used teacups to measure ingredients, yes literal teacups! I can remember the exact one she used to use, a blue and white chipped and much used little ceramic thing. The recipe below includes how Gran would make it but I weighed as I went to make life a bit easier for you :) sorry for the mish-mash of units!
Gran's Ginger Biscuits
Makes 40

2 teacups (210g) self-raising flour
1 teacup (140g) caster sugar
1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda (aka baking soda)
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
2 oz butter or margarine
1 oz lard **

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease baking sheets

Melt the butter/marg and lard in the microwave, set aside

Sift the flour, mixed spice, ginger and baking soda into a medium-large bowl, add the caster sugar

Add the golden syrup, egg and melted fats to the dry mix

Mix well to fully combine*

Roll into roughly 1 inch marbles, place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart, and dimple each slightly in the center with your finger

Bake for 12-15 minutes (I find 14mins to be perfect!)

Leave on the sheet for 2/3 minutes and they should be easy to remove using your fingers, careful not to burn yourself though!

Cool completely on a wire rack, keep well in an air-tight container

* The dough will be pretty soft and may have a slight sheen to it. If it is too soft to hold its shape when rolled into balls add a tiny bit more flour, but this shouldn't be necessary. It should be slightly 'greasy' and easy to roll
** I am unsure if lard is available in America, if not I believe vegetable shortening would be the closest substitution. Although I have never tried it with all butter, and it would change the end product, that should still work to an extent :)
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  1. I love that your gran used teacups to measure. What a fun memory!

  2. What a delightful post and sweet memories! My grandparents always had a cookie jar full of gingersnaps, it was always our first stop when we would get to their house. Although their cookies were store bought, I am particularly fond of homemade ginger cookies. I am saving this recipe to make soon. :)

  3. My partner adores ginger snaps and I have yet to find a convincing recipe - I think I just found it! I have always found that the handed-through-the-generation recipes are always the best and most reliable. Bless your grandmother and your memories of her :)

  4. These look beautful! Thank's for sharing you Gran's recipe. =)

  5. These look great! I love ginger in cookies. I will have to give these a try! :)

  6. You know...I never thought of that - but you're right! We DO put relations name or title before the item! My sister makes the worlds best Mac & Cheese and it's always referred to as Susan's Mac & Cheese! Cookies look delicious!

  7. My husband is a ginger fanatic, I'll have to give these a try :)

  8. Such wonderful memories. The recipe looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I couldn't bear ginger biscuits when I was younger, strictly a Bourbon and Custard Cream kind of girl. Now though, I love them! It's fantastic you have a family recipe for them!

  10. These look so yummy! I never made those...But....IT IS worth a try right. I will make these and let you know :-))
    Wishing you an awesome weekend, Sasha.


  11. It's so nice to have a memory and a recipe like this - especially as the biscuits look so delicious! Can't wait to give them a try.

  12. Goodness me, where to start! Thank you ALL so much for your comments, i truly mean it when I say im grateful for every single one, especially on a recipe that means as much to me as this one :)

    @BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} You comment was lovely, thank you :) Please do give this recipe a shot, I hope it lives up to your memories. Thank you for bringing your blog to my attention too, it is drop dead gorgeous..seriously wonderful! You have a new regular reader :)

    @pepperandsherry Such a sweet comment, I hope you get to try this and your partner loves it as much as we do here!

    @Paula @ Spoons 'n' Spades Paula I dont know if you have seen but i have a recipe for bourbon biccies! http://theprocrastobaker.blogspot.com/2011/07/chocolate-bourbons.html
    If you give either a go I hope they live up to your expectations!

    @niner from wechooseorganic.com Niner your comments are always so lovely thank you :) I really hope you get to try them, i think you will really like them but then again maybe im biased! :)

    @Lucy Lucy I LOVE the fact you are a young'un like me also in the UK with a love for baking! This made my day, you have a lovely blog indeed and thank you for commenting :)

  13. Wow.. these cookies look so damn good :) Loving it at first sight. And guess what!! I was really looking out for a ginger cookies recipe for a while since my mom and dad had it somewhere someday and asked me to try making them at home :)

    A small doubt. Do we need to use dry ginger or the fresh ones??? just wanted to make sure before I try them :) and of course will get back to you once I try it out :)

    email - fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

  14. I'll have to make these in Gran's honour. They look perfect for dunking!

  15. @Nithya Thank you Nithya! These do have a snap to them if you make sure you cook them long enough (if you are looking for a softer biccie i have a recipe i have been eyeing up i can suggest if you fancy)
    Its ground ginger (dry) that this recipe calls for, it would mean so much to me if you gave these a go! if you do i hope they live upto yours and your parents expectations :)

    @Maureen Oh Maureen it would be so wonderful if you did, and they reallyreally are the best dunking biscuits! Nothing better than a cuppa tea (or coffee!) with a tin of biccies by the side hey :)

  16. Thank you so much for your prompt reply dear :) It makes me feel so special and good :P Will surely give it a try and let you know too. Do pass me the soft biccie recipe as well :)

    You can mail me and we can keep in touch too :) for we are like minded people across the globe :)

    e-mail - fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

  17. No problem at all Nithya, my pleasure entirely!! I really hope you like them lots :) Heres the other ginger cookie ive been thinking about trying...
    they look like they have that something special, and the description won me over in an instant! If you happen to try them then please let me know how they turn out for you too :)

    Your kind comment just made my day, thank you so very much! I may well call on you out of the blue someday when Im facing a culinary disaster or just for a chat :)

    Likewise here is my email - sasha.sebright@hotmail.com, if you ever fancy getting in touch

    Bestbest wishes and thank you again :)

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  19. Whoa! these look SO good! i've been looking for a yum ginger cookie recipe! Thanks! :) Will try and let u know how it went!

  20. @Kajal Please do let me know if you get round to making them! I hope you find them as lovely as i do and thank you so very much for stopping by :)

  21. i have been looking for a recipe for a crisp ginger cookie! this looks amazing and anything that comes from a grandmothers recipe box is a sure winner.

  22. @cindy* oh Cindy, i DO hope you give them a go and that they satisfy your gingersnap cravings :) cant beat a good family recipe I agree! Thank you for commenting :)

  23. These look soooo good, thanks for the recipe--I'm definitely going to try them soon. Loving your blog!

  24. @Jennifer Thank you Jennifer! I really hope you do and that you love them as I do :)

  25. I love ginger biscuits but have never baked them myself. These look really divine and I shall have to try them out soon! Thanks for sharing!! :)