Sunday, 5 September 2010
One thing that I have enjoyed since moving over here to the UK, is learning about and how to cook traditional dishes from all over this wonderful land. There is a wonderful variety of recipes available and most are steeped in wonderful history and tradition.
I just love learning the traditions and histories of different food stuffs, don't you?
Over here in the UK they call cookies biscuits and there are many delicious and scrummy regional varieties.
Like these Cornish Fairings . . . a sweet and gingery biscuit commonly found in Cornwall. Their name is said to have orginated due to their having been sold at feeast and fair days down in Cornwall. A 'fairing' is basically any type of gift bought at a fair, edible or otherwise!
Most town or village fairs over here have a certain type of food attributed to them and more often than they are spicy things . . . probably going back to Medieval times when spices were greatly loved and widely used.
According to Wikepedia, this particular recipe is reputed to have originated at the "maid hiring" fair, held the week after Christmas in Launceston.
Whatever their origin, they are quite tasty! Kind of like a spicy gingernut biscuit, but with added little bits of candied mixed peel.
Very easy to make, quick to bake and really scrummy with a hot cup of tea, herbal or otherwise I am sure!
A traditional biscuit from the West Country. Sweet and spicy, with the added surprise of chopped mixed peel. Using two sources of raising agents makes the biscuits crack. Scrummy!!
100g plain flour (about 3/4 cup)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
40g of caster sugar (about 1/4 cup)
50g of unsalted butter, chilled and diced ( 3 1/2 TBS)
1 TBS very finely diced mixed peel
3 TBS golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter several baking sheets and set aside.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl along with the salt, baking powder, soda, ginger and mixed spice. Stir in the sugar. Drop in the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the mixed peel and then the golden syrup, mixing it all to a stiff dough.
Using your hands, roll the dough into 20 marble sized balls. Place them well apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 7 minutes until golden brown and cracked on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for several minutes before scooping off to finish cooling on a wire rack. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.