Saturday, 20 October 2012
What is as light as air . . . as thin as a fairy's wings . . . and as crisp as an autumn day??? Fairy Gingerbread Biscuits, of course!! These biscuits are incredibly addictive . . . almost dangerous to have around. They are just loaded with lots of gingerbread flavor, with plenty of snap, using both ground ginger and freshly grated ginger-root.
Heating the ground ginger in a skillet until it becomes fragrant increases it's potency and adds to the deliciousness. I have always done that when I am making anything with cumin . . . and it just makes sense that it would add flavor when using warm baking spices as well. Just be careful not to burn them. Only heat them over a moderate heat until they become very fragrant.
I always grate the fresh ginger-root using my micro-plane grater. It does the perfect, fuss free job and in quick time too.
A mixture of pure vanilla and orange essences heighten the lovely flavor of the ginger, creating a beautifully flavored taste treat.
Have all of your ingredients at room temperature and you will find that this batter mixes together really quickly and easily. You may think it a bit of a faff to spread it out as thin as I do . . . but trust me when I tell you that every second of faff is worth the trouble.
The end result is a biscuit that is airy and light and oh-so-crisp . . . crunchy, and quite quite irresistible. I enjoyed mine with a cup of my favorite Blood Orange herbal tea . . . deliciously, moreishly good!
Delicious with a warm cuppa for elevensies . . . for afternoon tea break . . . and for munching on when you just want something sweet to soothe your senses. These are the perfect treat to bake on a sunny and warm Indian Summer's afternoon.
*Fairy Gingerbread Biscuits*
Makes about 5 dozen
As light as air, and as thin as a fairy's wings . . . deliciously spiced and as crisp as an autumn day. In other words, fabulous!
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
75g plus 2 TBS plain flour (3/4 cup + 2 TBS)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
72g of unsalted butter, softened (5 TBS)
100g plus 1 TBS soft light brown muscovado sugar (1/2 cup + 1TBS)
4 tsp grated fresh ginger-root
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
60ml of whole milk, at room temperature (1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Have ready 2 large flat baking sheets. Turn them upside down and spritz the bottoms with a bit of non fat cooking spray. Tear off a couple of sheets of baking paper, at least 15 inches by 12 inches in size. Press these onto the cooking spray and set aside. (You will be baking on them upside down.)
Add the ground ginger to a small skillet. Heat over medium heat until it becomes very fragrant. Remove from the heat and stir together with the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter together in a bowl with the sugar, until light and fluffy. Beat in the fresh ginger-root.
Stir together the milk and flavorings. Add the milk to the creamed mixture alternately with the flour mixture, making 3 dry additions and 2 wet.
Divide the batter in half and using a pastry scraper or a small offset spatula, spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet to cover the parchment. The batter will be very thin. It may seem a bit fiddly, but it is well worth the extra time it takes to get it right.
Bake, one sheet at a time on the middle oven rack, until deep golden brown, for 16 to 20 minutes. Turn the sheet around halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and immediately score into rectangles with a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife. Allow to cool completely before carefully separating the cookies along the scored lines. Store in an airtight container.