For years I've been trying to find a stem ginger biscuit recipe just like the packaged biscuits you can buy in the UK. While looking through the 'Flour and Stone' cookbook by Nadine Ingram I saw a recipe for chocolate gingernuts which included stem ginger. I decided to give the recipe a try but I left out the chocolate.

Stem ginger is not easy to find in Sydney so a few months ago I made a batch at home. You can find recipes online and the ginger syrup it produces is so delicious. If you’re not so inclined, then just use crystallized ginger instead of stem ginger and use golden syrup instead of the ginger syrup.

The biscuits were easy to make and after 15 minutes baking time they looked pretty much done and smelt great, so I took them out of the oven. I couldn't wait to try one. I let the biscuits cool down for about 10 minutes then had one with my cup of tea. After 15 minutes baking time the biscuit was still a little chewy just like the packaged ones but there was an overwhelming and unpleasantly bitter taste. The original recipe used self raising flour and I figured the bitter taste was probably the result of the raising agent used in the self raising flour combined with the large amount of bicarbonate soda. I was disappointed but decided to try making the biscuits again this time using plain flour to which I added some baking powder. I didn't add the full quantity though so the second batch didn't rise quite as much.

This time I baked the biscuits for 25 minutes and when I had one with my cup of tea, there was no weird chemical taste, just ginger and spice. These biscuits were definitely crunchy and perfect to dunk in a cup of tea but I think I prefer my biscuits a bit more chewy.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 12 large biscuits. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Gingernuts, adapted from a Flour and Stone recipe
165g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ginger
Pinch salt
75g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small cubes
60g raw sugar
2 small pieces stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
60g golden syrup
2 tbs stem ginger syrup
Additional 25g raw sugar.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set to one side while you make the mixture.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the softened butter into the dry ingredients until its incorporated and the texture of fine cookie crumbs. Stir in the sugar and the chopped ginger. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and stir in the syrups. Use your hands to combine the sticky syrups with the rest of the mixture and knead until it forms a slightly sticky dough.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Roll each ball in the extra raw sugar until lightly coated. Place the gingernuts on the baking sheet leaving plenty of room for spreading. Lightly press each ball with the palm of your hand to flatten a little before using the tines of the fork to make a criss cross pattern on the top of each biscuit. If you like you can sprinkle a little more raw sugar on each biscuit before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. The longer you bake them, the harder the crunch will be. Nadine recommends taking the cookies out of the oven when the centre of the cookie bounces back when pressed with your finger. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a rack. Once cooled, store the gingernuts in an airtight container. My cookies were still good 2 weeks after baking.

With a few more pieces of stem ginger left in the jar, I'll definitely be making the chewy version of these again.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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