One thing which I have always enjoyed cooking since coming over to the UK are the old tradition recipes. Recipes which have their roots deep in British tradition and which have been around for a very long time . . . recipes which are a part of the fabric of this beautiful country's history and culture.
This is a recipe which is rooted in the Eggleston Family shop which was situated in Grantham early in the 1800's. It is pale and light, quite unlike the dark, treacle based recipes which we normally associate with Gingerbread. This is more like a biscuit/cookie . . . it was said to have come into being when George Eggleston muddled up the ingredients one evening whilst baking with the result being these delicious crisp and buttery cakes.
The recipe has been adapted from a recipe I found in a baking book entitled, Cakes, regional and traditional by Julie Duff. I will confess that it was the name Grantham that piqued my curiostity most of all . . . I am sure most of you are familiar with the Grantham family of Downton Abby Fame. Could this have been a teatime treat that that most prestigious family might have enjoyed sampling with their afternoon teas?
Probably not . . . it was probably more suited to those servants enjoying a mid afternoon cuppa before their evening duties upstairs begin as they dance attendance to the needs of the family they live to serve. It's far too rustic to be enjoyed upstairs . . . it's a dunker, plain and simple, and I just cannot imagine the Dowager dunking anything, truth be told.
Dunking might have been considered far too crude . . . and these tasty babies beg to be dunked . . . delicious on their own . . . once dunked . . . they become quite magical.
I enjoyed mine with a nice hot cuppa Newby Rooiboos Orange tea. It was perfect. I do hope that you will take the opportunity to bake these delightful biscuits . . . you will not be sorry. They're not pretty . . . but where they may fall short in the looks department, they more than make up for in the taste department.
*Grantham White Gingerbread*Makes about 24 pieces
I do believe that this is the type of biscuit that might have tempted Lord Grantham down into the kitchen to indulge in after dark, when all the servants have been settled into bed . . . a midnight snack for he and Cora. Not that he would ever admit to doing such a thing . . . shhhhh! Don't tell on him!
I'm quite sure he would enjoy every crisp, buttery and gingery little nibble. Bon Appetit!