Ginger biscuits
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Ingredients / Shopping List

50g plain flour
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g block margarine
25g soft brown sugar
25g syrup

 

Prep Time:   0:15
Cook Time:   0:15
Makes:   12

Prep to Cook: Mixing bowl, sieve, wooden spoon, flour dredger, flat baking tray, non-stick paper.
Oven 180°C or Gas Mark 4

 

Prep:  Sift the flour with the ginger spice and bicarbonate of soda twice into a mixing bowl.
Rub margarine into the flour using fingertips.
Stir in soft brown sugar.
Add the tablespoon of syrup and mix by working the syrup into the mixture using the wooden spoon.
Finally use your hand to shape the stiff paste into a sausage shape.
Divide into 4 and then each of these portions into 3 (12 biscuits in all)
Shape by hand into a ball and then press flat.
Use a fork to press a pattern onto the surface.
Transfer to a flat baking tray either greased, or lined with non stick paper.  
Bake gently for 12 minutes
Remove and allow to cool before transferring to a cooling tray to crisp up.

 

Check it out !

Ginger biscuits are easy to make and especially good for children because they can shape them using their hands.  No need for a rolling pin. 

Cooks Know How:  Ginger biscuits use only a few ingredients but the recipe is full of interesting science as each ingredient has a specific role.  Because bicarbonate of soda is used as the raising agent there is a likelihood of a slight soapy aftertaste.  The use of ground ginger spice masks any aftertaste and gives a spicy flavour to the biscuits.  Bicarbonate of soda produces carbon dioxide during cooking and raises the biscuits making them light and crisp.  A side effect of bicarbonate is to darken the mixture during cooking.  Adding soft brown sugar and golden syrup further assists the browning and also sweetens and caramelises during cooking to produce crisp biscuits on cooling.  Plain white flour is ‘shortened’ by the rubbed in margarine so that the biscuits have a crunchy texture.  This is a simple rubbed in mixture not a melting method like gingerbread loaf.  However, much of the food science of gingerbread can be taught using this little recipe and it can be completed within a 1 hour lesson.

Next Time

Replace the ground  ginger with other spices such as mixed spice, or cinnamon.  Remember  they would have to be renamed ‘Spice biscuits’.   Also adding the zest of orange is nice.

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