Apparently, these delicious biscuits were traditionally sold at fairs in Cornwall and became famous throughout the country when a clever Cornish business man started selling them throughout the country by mail order. It is a crisp cookie with a distinct crackled top (brought about by the baking soda) spiced with ginger and cinnamon. There seems to be little confusion about what goes into the biscuits – recipes are pretty much all along the same lines with little differences. I used a recipe from Paul Hollywood and tweaked it just a little bit. If you want to go back to the more basic and traditional, my additions are the candied ginger and I replaced golden syrup with maple syrup. Furthermore, you may wish to add mixed spice to the ingredients as many recipes do, although I find cinnamon and ginger are quite dominant enough.
The biscuits are extremely easy and fast to make, so if you are pressed for time this is just the right recipe to pick – you may get it done in as little as 40 minutes from start to end. More importantly though, these biscuits are so extremely delicious, be prepared that the disappear even a lot faster than it takes you to make them…. 🙂
Ingredients (for roughly 25 biscuits):
- 200 grams of cake flour (German type 405)
- tip of knife of fine salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 100 grams of butter, diced
- 100 grams of finely granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons of maple syrup (or golden syrup)
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- ca. 60 grams of candied ginger, very finely chopped
- For a recipe of candied ginger check here: Candied Ginger.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter and rub between your fingers until you have a crumble.
- Mix in the sugar.
- Mix the maple syrup and the milk in a small bowl, than add to the mixture and quickly knead into a smooth dough. Towards the end, knead in the candied ginger.
- Line one or several baking trays with parchment paper.
- Tear off little bits of dough and form approximately walnut-sized little balls.
- Place the little balls on the baking trays allowing space between them to spread (I recommend not more than 16 pieces on a regular-sized baking tray). Note: Do not panic – there is no need to flatten the dough balls or to try to change their form in any other way to make them look more like cookies before baking – they will spread wide in the oven throughout the baking time. Just believe it.
- Bake tray by tray and on the upper shelf in the oven (I use a fan oven but find that the outcome is still more convincing if I use this baking technique) for about 15 minutes, then check regularly to make sure the biscuits do not darken too much. Take out when nicely amber-coloured. (Takes me roughly 20 minutes in total.)
- Let cool down completely and – enjoy!!