Saturday, 24 December 2011

Gingernut biscuits

Yes, gingernuts! As a (fat) child, I ate a lot of biscuits; Timtams, those ones with hard sprinkles, Wagon Wheels, jam, chocolate chip, chocolate, Mint Slice, Tiny Teddies... Then there were gingernut biscuits. I liked them but they were always too hard for me to bite through. I felt that if I bit through one I would require medical attention from the evil school dentist and have to wear one of those sleeping koala stickers with the words 'my gums are sleeping'.

I went to my local supermarket to buy ground ginger, the most important ingredient in gingernut biscuits. There was no ginger! The supermarket stocks three brands of ground ginger and they were all sold out! Everyone was baking ginger biscuits but me. Never fear, I did find some ground ginger eventually, at House of Health in the Adelaide Central Market.

 If gingernuts aren't grand enough for you, why not make a German gingerbread house?

My German advent calendar is telling me it is Christmas. In Germany, Christmas is celebrated on December 24 and people do not wear their gardening/car washing clothes to tea

A church in Schwaebisch Hall, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany at Christmas time

Gingernut biscuits
This recipe is from the Women's Weekly book, The Country Table; recipes from a country kitchen

What you need

  • 90 g butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • 1 & 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove

 What you need to do
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays with baking paper
  2. Melt and stir butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Remove from the hot plate.
  3. Sift dry ingredients into the saucepan and mix to combine.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Scoop up a teaspoon sized amount of mixture (I used a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon for consistency), roll into a ball and place onto the baking tray. Press down to flatten slightly. The book says to keep 3cm between each biscuit, but I found 2cm would be enough.
  6. Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes and leave to cool on the tray.

As these were baking my house smelt like German Christmas:) Not Australian Christmas; the smell of Woolworths creamy pasta salad and wet dog. They do harden up, like the shop bought biscuits but not as much. You can still eat them without worrying whether your private health insurance includes dental. If you prefer softer biscuits, eat them once they have cooled down after baking. They're wonderfully spicy and even after you finish a biscuit, the spiciness still lingers in your mouth. I thought my spekulatius were great, but these are so much more spicy and interesting.

So tomorrow is Christmas, the least favourite day of the year for Christmas grinches such as myself. I will do my best to avoid 'celebrating' as much as I can. *Sits in the corner, has a cup of tea and waits for all this to blow over*

Nearly forgot! To readers who celebrated Festivus yesterday, I hope the airing of grievances went smoothly, the meatloaf and/or spaghetti was delicious and that you showed off your feat of strength and impressed others.


  1. The church looks amazing! I don't really like the taste of ginger to be honest, but your biscuits look very nice...if they were sitting in front of me, I'm sure I'd eat them anyway. :D
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas! And it does sound like everyone was busy making gingerbread or ginger nut biscuits. I've never seen ground ginger sold out! :P

  3. ****Akika****
    There are many beautiful churches in Germany. Beware if you go on a tour - it will involve churches, cathederals, more cathederals and then in the afternoon, some more churches.

    Yes, you wouldn't expect ground ginger to be sold out! Christmas is a good time to be in the ginger business.