I bought this beautiful Wrendale Cracker Tin recently and it’s been crying out to me from the cupboard ever since. I needed to Christen it with something worthy, it needed to be the ultimate biscuit and it must go really well with my cup of tea for Elevenses.
I contemplated gingerbread men but they are all awkward limbs, not the right shape at all. I pondered a fork biscuit or an almond macaroon, perhaps a slice of flapjack or a chewy chocolate cookie but, no, none of these would quite hit the spot. I wanted something elegant and understated, something spicy with just the right amount of crunch to chew ratio; something which could be dunked without disaster. It had to be ginger biscuits and, if it was to be ginger biscuits it had to be the best ginger biscuits – Cornish Fairings!
A ‘fairing’ was originally a treat sold at the seasonal fairs which popped up all over this green and pleasant land and Cornish Fairings have been produced in Cornwall for the last hundred years. They are a step up from your regular everyday ginger biscuit and they are exactly what I needed for my lovely tin.
- 225g/1 cup Plain/All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 120g/1/2 cup butter/vegan margarine
- 120g/1/2 cup caster sugar
- 5 tbsps golden syrup
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
- Grease two baking trays
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spices and salt into a large bowl
- Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Stir in the sugar
- Add the golden syrup and mix together well
- Bring it all together with your hands to make a smooth dough
- Divide your dough into half
- Take one half and break off 12 small walnut sized pieces, roll into balls and place on the greased backing trays with space between each ball as they will spread to form our lovely biscuits!
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until they have spread, turned golden brown and taken on their characteristic crackled top look (if you are using vegan margarine give the trays a bang on your work surface when they come out of the oven - fab tip from Ms Cupcake's marvellous The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town!)
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking trays before moving carefully with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely – if you can wait that long, we scoff some while they are still warm!
- Repeat with the other half of your dough (or freeze to use at a later date)
- These biscuits will keep well in a tin for 3 to 4 days – it doesn’t have to be a Wrendale but it helps!
This recipe is based on one by Mary Ford in her excellent step-by-step Biscuit Recipes book which I picked up in a charity shop for the princely sum of 50p, I can’t walk past a charity shop without checking out their recipe bookshelves!
If you were making biscuits, what would you whip up to pop in this tin? Do you have a favourite biscuit or cookie recipe I should have a go at? Can you tempt me away from the ginger deliciousness?