Jason loves gingerbread and I’m pretty fond of it too. Unfortunately it’s pretty hard to find crunchy gingerbread men anywhere when out shopping. We both love our crunchy Arnott’s Gingernut biscuits (the ones here in WA are hard enough to break teeth if you’re not careful!) but I love baking and went on a hunt to try and find a recipe to make my own.
This was not easy! As I said, most recipes are for soft and chewy gingerbread. Ugh. If I wanted cake, or cookies, I’d make those. I like my gingerbread crispy! You’ll be pleased to know, dear reader, that I seem to have gotten the hang of it. I can’t remember where the recipe came from (sorry if it was yours) but I seem to recall that I hashed it together from a recipe I found online as well as one from a Donna Hay magazine. I’ve made these about 3 times now and seem to have gotten a consistent result, so good luck!
Crispy gingerbread biscuits
Dinner knife / butter knife
Electric beater with dough hooks or a wooden spoon and lots of muscles
An oven, preheated to 180C
Timer and/or oven light and concentration
Man-proof containers (if no containers, substitute your own mouth)
Ingredients – Australian measurements
1 + 1/3 cups self raising cake flour (I use Lighthouse brand by Anchor – it comes already triple sifted with Cream of Tartar)
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp ground ginger (the powdered spice)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon sugar (optional, I included this time because I love cinnamon)
100g brown sugar
100g unsalted butter (I only ever use real butter, not substitutes)
1 tbsp golden syrup (sorry can’t remember if it was 1 or 2. If too dry, add more)
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Cut butter into small pieces. Add to dry ingredients.
- Microwave 30 secs until butter softens a bit. Repeat if necessary.
- Using the knife, cut through the mixture a few times as if you were making shortbread.
- Mix together with the beater until combined and dough-like (or use hands, spoon etc)
- Press all the crumbs into a dough try not to eat too much mixture
- Place a bit of baking paper on the table and line the baking trays with some too.
- Roll out the dough onto the baking paper. If it is too dry and cracks too easily then put it back in the bowl, add more syrup and try again.
- Cut out a variety of shapes and lift onto baking paper using spatula. Keep re-rolling offcut dough until all used. Again try not to eat too much as it only denies you of extra bikkies at the end.
- Try not to have them too close together as they will spread a little.
- Cook each tray individually on the top shelf of the oven for 12-15 mins. Watch them carefully. They will puff up a little, then start to go golden and then fall back flat and then crack. The goal is to pull them out before they crack. Take them out when they look NEARLY done. It’s ok if you mistime it slightly, they still taste ok if a little burnt but they’re at their best before they crack.
- If you have a really reliable oven you might be able to do all the batches at once.
- Lift off baking trays with spatula and cool on wire trays. Protect from significant other/s and cat/dog.
- If you like, you can put icing or chocolate on the finished biscuits.
I really like some of the preset looks (develop settings) available in Lightroom although given my love of colourful flowers they rarely get a look in. I thought ‘sepia’ and ‘aged photo’ may be a nice touch for the photos of these homemade gingerbread biscuits.It took some convincing to get Jas to let me part with the recipe – as I told my friends on Twitter, in the end I said “well what if something happened to me and there was nobody left in the world to make you gingerbread?” 😉 Hope you enjoy baking these! Feel free to show me your pictures of the finished bikkies.