For me gingerbread and ginger flavored biscuits spell Christmas time. For the past 20 years I’ve religiously made at least one batch of my Swedish Pepakaka recipe for adoring family and friends.
This year I thought I’d try a new recipe I found in one of my latest cookbooks; Under The Walnut Tree by Anna and Fanny Bergenstrom. I loved the sound of these when the authors suggested they would perfectly suit serving with blue cheese (turns out they are a great partner to leg ham and tasty cheese too!). Slightly chewy and crisp around the edges when they first come from the oven as they mature in the storage jar they soften slightly to be chewy, but also more mellow and balanced in flavour.
I love this recipe for the fact it skips the cream from my richer previous incarnation and it would suit perfectly to storing the dough in the freezer to remove and bake as your tastebuds want a delicious treat. I also love that its far less work and mess to get into the oven, which leaves time for me to make myself a coffee, and get ready to taste as they appear ready and warm from the oven. I think I’ll be keeping this is the simple quick version for everyday ginger bread cravings, and I’ll be keeping my traditional recipe for Christmas time.
I will express my disappointment at the translated recipe which was a failure with not nearly enough flour specified. Fortunately I’m experienced enough at baking (based on previous gingerbread dough) to trust my instincts to get the consistency right. The end result was fabulous and the cookbook itself is gorgeous with beautiful ideas, but it will make me more cautious about what I make from this book in the future.
*adapted from Under the Walnut Tree by Anna and Fanny Bergenstrom
- 100g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 tbl sp golden syrup
- 50ml water
- 2 cups approx plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Make the dough 24 hours prior to baking, or at least allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla, golden syrup and water until combined.
In a large bowl sift the 3/4 of the flour, bicarb, ground ginger and cinnamon, fold lightly just to combine. To this mixture add the liquids and combine until forms a sticky dough. If the mixture is too liquid then add slightly more flour until you have the right consistency. This mixture should still be fairly malleable to better to add less flour first up. If the mixture is too stiff it will result in crumbly and powdery biscuits. Its much easier to start with not enough flour than too much.
Cut up two pieces of baking paper about 40cm long. Divide the mixture and place towards one end in a length. Curling the edge of the paper over the mixture shape into a log and then continue to roll the paper tightly to form a solid length of dough. Wind up the paper ends like a bon bon and place in the fridge to set and do its magic.
Pre-Heat your oven to approx 180c. Line your baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Unwrap your dough logs and using a sharp knife cut fine slices (approx 2-3mm width) and place on the baking tray with a small amount of room between biscuits as they will spread slightly.
Bake in the oven for approx 6-8 mins or until just starting to brown. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack to do the next batch. This will make about 60 biscuits.
Serve on their own with coffee or tea, or go for something different on your next cheese platter and serve with blue cheese and a fruit paste.
Shared With Love,