Sunday, 25 January 2015

Gingersnaps



After last weeks Golden Panettone marathon this was a like a quick jog to the mail box.  And my mail box is a flap in my front door.  And my house is small.  You get the picture.  These were made as I was making the boys dinner last night.  Start to finish, including washing up, in just over an hour (I may have cheated with the advised resting times...)

I made the UK version of this recipe, which had no additional egg white and slightly less flour.  I used plain flour and added the recommended quantities of baking powder and baking soda.  I am not a fan of Self Raising flour - I am sure it is fine, but it was one variable too far for me.

My photos are scant for this post - it came together so quickly.  I have made a few gingerbread recipes and the thing they all have in common is that they melt the butter and the golden syrup together.

Butter and golden syrup melting - scintillating, no?
Rose says that this mix needed to cool until it was no longer warm to the touch.  I waited for the sum total of the time it took to measure and whisk together the dry ingredients.  In this house, it is a case of now or sometime in no fewer than three hours time.  So the still quite warm to the touch butter/golden syrup mix went into the dry ingredients.  This made a damp sandy mess.


Then you add the egg - no photo of this.  And mix until it all comes together.  Divide into three equal parts and wrap in the ever faithful plastic wrap for 30 minutes before dividing into each third into 10 lots of 27 gram balls, except the last third gets an extra one.  I swear each of Rose's recipe is a maths lesson if you wanted it to be.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, or even if you read the last paragraph, you are safe in your assumption that I didn't wait the 30 minutes.

I am sure Rose and Woody have made these with and without the 30 minute standing time and there would have been a noticeable difference in those that were rested.  But resting is for other people.   I still have a portion of my Christmas Eve Ginger Bread dough "resting" in the fridge.  Dough takes a definite chance of not meeting its full potential if it opts for a "rest" in my fridge.
This is one third of the dough, unrested, ready to be rolled into 27 gram balls.
I did wrap and refrigerate two thirds of the dough.  Given that the first two batches baked for 12 minutes each, the last third would have reached the magic 30 minute mark.  My only observation about the impact of the recommended resting time, is that the rested batches browned more quickly than the unrested batches.  Or my timing could be out - a definite possibility on the second batch when I forgot to set the timer.  I am pretty sure my oven is the height of German efficiency and doesn't fluctuate in temperature.   Either way, I don't think ruminating on the consequences of the resting or not resting will keep me awake tonight.  After all, this is a quick and easy recipe, I shouldn't ruin that status by thinking too hard or too long about it.


The 27 gram balls are placed onto a baking tray 10 at a time by a helpful assistant, and then rearranged discreetly to ensure that those cheek by jowl are at a more socially acceptable distance of 2.5 inches.  The not so perfectly round balls then rise up and crack appealingly.  They are a quick bake - 5 minutes rotate and then 5 - 7 minutes to finish them off. My first batch went to the full 12 minutes are were mostly a light golden colour, then second and third batches were a darker golden colour.

The finished biscuit is a varying combination of chew and snap.  The lighter the colour, the higher the ratio of chew to snap.  I prefer towards the lighter end of the spectrum - more chew is better.  But that may be because I am on day 5 of a juice detox and this has been the only solid food that has passed my lips.  I had one bite of a light biscuit and one bite of a dark biscuit - maybe it is scientifically irresponsible to make a valid assessment on such a small sample?  It makes small odds, because light or dark golden brown these are absolutely fantastic, and so easy I need to buy a biscuit barrel to give them a permanent home in my stepford-wife kitchen.  Thanks Kate for sharing the recipe with Rose.  Thank you Rose for bringing it to us.  And I am sure that isn't five days of juice talking - see the other Alpha Bakers wax lyrical on these.

I will definitely have to make these again once my body has been restored to its business as usual status.  Next time I make them I am going to add in some diced stem ginger just like my once upon a time favourites.  A critical lesson learned, in addition to these fab biscuits, is that juice detoxes must run for no longer than five days and must always, but always start on a Monday.

Everyone say "Yummy biscuit"
I asked the little boys to pose with their Gingersnaps and say "Yummy biscuit".  Thomas (in the blue) dutifully says "Yummy biscuit!" and Patrick says "Not yummy biscuit!" as he throws it across the table.  The photo below is Thomas reaching for the discarded biscuit with his empty hand, saying, "I'll have it".  So I can add Gingersnap biscuits to the long list of Sweet Things Thomas Will Eat to go with broccoli, sausage and potato.
But not everyone thinks they are yummy...
Patrick is still pining for the pink swirly cupcake.  And Isaac who has long been in the trenches is grateful for anything that stays in the house and doesn't head into the office - just like his Dad.

Next week is the Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread.  I am heading across to the US on a business trip on Tuesday - Princeton, NJ.  Hoping that I have some time to fit in a trip to a supermarket to fill up my luggage allowance with as much flour as I can.   I do so love those extended trading hours, but I do struggle to find supermarkets - why are they never in shopping malls?

20 comments:

  1. Nicola.. they came out so dark.. I wanted mine a bit darker, but I tend to overcook cookies.. so I chicken out and did what the book said, and while mine came out "blond".. not dark... next time I may push it and leave them a bit longer. Have a safe trip!

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  2. ב''ה

    My eyes glaze over anytime I see 'divide...refrigerate..."

    Still can not figure out why I did not get cracks.

    My heart goes out to Isaac waiting pining for his dad.

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  3. two recent princeton restaurant recommendations from ariane batterberry of food arts magazine: mistral and agricola!

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  4. Your boys are so adorable! Great that they like the ginger cookies!

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  5. Your boys are so cute. Love that you baked them 2 different ways. Have a good flour shopping trip in the East Coast! :))

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  7. "Butter and golden syrup melting - scintillating, no?" Most definitely yes! Let us have a moment of reverent silence for Charles Eastick. So Isaac is the tie breaker? You're racking up some serious air miles! Have a good trip.

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    1. P.S. Coming to the eastern U.S. just in time for one of the worst storms of the year!

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  8. Great post, Nicola! Loved your comments about "resting is for other people." I am only now learning patience. I managed to turn this quick recipe into an epic. Have a safe trip to our side of the pond, and best of luck finding a supermarket! I wish you could drop off a supply of Golden Syrup for me down in North Carolina. It seems my grocery store has stopped carrying it! Egads!

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    1. Bugger! I was in North Carolina last September - Raleigh. But have moved off that client now. We really need to organise a group meeting this bake through... I can bring a case full of golden syrup!

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    2. That would be such a great idea!! Count me in!

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  9. Loved your post. I kind of pushed the resting time a bit too. Have a safe trip.

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  10. Trip now cancelled! Maybe trying again on Sunday but will depend on the weather and the client we were meeting.

    Gack - flour supply perilously low!! I

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  11. I have a Patrick of my own - he hated just about everything I cooked. Turns out, he's grown up to be the best cook all the kids so I think he was a very sensitive taster. Thankfully he is more willing to try things these days. Great post - hope you'll stop by to see mine.

    Patricia @ ButterYum
    http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2015/1/25/tbb-gingersnaps

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  12. I love the photo of your boys, especially knowing the back story of the thrown cookie. I want to be a rebel and forget the resting, but I am too chicken. And, you broke your juice fast for a cookie! That is dedication to this bake-through.

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  13. Hi Nicola, I feel the energy in your household. The Gingersnaps just squeezed in under the wire. No grass is growing under your family's feet! You doing a juice fast? Go girl! PS: Your cookies look beautiful.

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  14. LOL..."resting is for others." I put everything in the fridge to rest. Ended up baking only 1/3 of the dough and the rest is still resting. I still have cookie dough from christmas "resting" in my fridge. Second grade Diorama's and math homework take precedent over all else! I so know what you're talking about. Regardless, your cookie looks great. :)

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  15. How hilarious - the biscuit a variation between chew and snap. I love the laissez-faire attitude that carries you through and makes it all fall into place....and in the face of a cancelled trip and a blizzard the concern is the flour supply is perilously low! I am appreciative of the three hour latitude. It would be such fun to be in your kitchen. It takes me forever - I might not do it right, don't you know -sigh.

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  16. I love the plate in the first photo and the biscuits are a lovely colour. What flour do you buy in the US?

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    1. The plate is from my grandmothers wedding tea set.

      This trip I will be buying Gold Medal bleached flour and some King Arthur unbleached cake flour as well as some normAl swans bleached cake flour.

      When I worked in Australia I did manage to get some bleached cake flour through my work. At the time I had no idea why my cakes were so much loftier and more finely crumbed... Ah, the lessons of life! I can't remember the supplier but think it was a 15 kg sack.

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