Ginger biscuits are the backbone biscuit of my life – they saw me through the misery of morning sickness with all my babies, gingerbread men were the first biscuits I baked with each of them and they are there when we are ploughing through the waves and one of our entourage feels a little queasy. This is my current favourite ginger biscuits recipe and my lot are convinced it is the best ginger biscuits recipe I’ve come up with so far! 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!
When I bought this beautiful Wrendale Cracker Tin recently 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.
A simple recipe for the best ginger biscuits these Cornish Fairings are delicately spiced, chewy but robust enough to dunk in your morning cuppa.
- 225 g/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
- 120 g/1/2 cup vegan butter
- 120 g/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!
I love how that little owl on the right is looking at me as if to say ‘Where’s mine?’! I wonder if little owls would like ginger biscuits…
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?