Friday, 29 October 2010

cold day spicy biscuit with tea needed

those darker bits are especially delicious
As the leaves start to fall I start wanting to eat biscuits with my tea. I like these biscuits which have a zingy ginger bite and a warming flavour of cinnamon and cloves.

Maybe you do not like cloves? It's worth giving it a go in these biscuits - even my white-food-only daughter does. Although I'm not sure she even knows what a clove is, still she notices when I forget to put them in.

Here in rainy London cookies are creeping up apace. Back in the deprived days of my childhood had someone asked me for a cookie I wouldn't have had the first idea what they were on about. Now it's common culinary currency. So call these biscuits cookies if you like. You can cook them a bit less and have them chewy, or you can cook and cook again, making them teeth-threateningly crisp. That is the origin of the word biscuit after all - bis=twice, cuit=cooked. And don't worry, noone has lost a tooth to biting these biscuits yet.
jumped ship and ate one
 with vanilla ice cream


250g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg
1tbsp treacle
1 tsp cinnamon
half tsp bicarbonate of soda
half tsp salt (leave out if you use salted butter)
half tsp ground cloves
half tsp ginger
demerera sugar

Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 4. Line two baking trays with baking parchment, or butter them.

Sift the flour, bicarb, spices and salt if using. I actually just stir the lot around with a whisk.
Cream butter and sugar together, beating until light and creamy.
Add the egg, beating all the time.
Add treacle - don't worry if it's a bit more than a table spoonful.
Fold in flour mixture, stirring until you get a stiff dough.

Put some demerera sugar in a bowl.

Use two teaspoons if you don't want sticky hands - take a spoonful of dough and dip it into the demerera, then put it sugar side up on the baking tray.
leave room for spreading.

Bake for 15m - leave to cool before removing from the tray.

If you manage not to eat all the biscuits at once, they store well. They're also welcome as gifts.

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