Gingernuts or ginger biscuits are popular, in various forms, in many different countries and cultures. Flavoured with ginger and sometimes other spices, they are perfect for this time of year.There are many different recipes for varying types of ginger biscuits. In the UK, New Zealand and Australia, they are most commonly known as ginger nuts. Ginger biscuits are also popular in Scandinavia (where they are flavoured with other spices and the ginger is not very prominent) and in America they are known as ginger snaps.
I have based my recipe on Mrs Beeton’s recipe for Sunderland Gingerbread Nuts, from her 1861 Book of Household Management. I don’t know what the association with North East England is; I can only guess that there were regional variations of the biscuits and that Mrs Beeton based hers upon a version from Sunderland. Mrs Beeton subtititles her biscuits with “an excellent recipe” and states that they are “seasonable at any time”, although I personally think they are perfectly suited to the colder months.
These biscuits are quick and easy to make, and it’s easy to adjust the quantity of ginger to suit your personal tastes.
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tbsp sugar
- 50g butter
- 40g golden syrup or treacle
- Preheat oven to 180c and line a baking tray
- Sieve the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl
- Stir in the sugar
- Melt the golden syrup and butter together over a low heat
- Pour in the flour mixture and mix to form a dough
- Split the dough into about 12 balls
- Place onto the baking trays, slightly flatten them down and bake for about 10 minutes
- Leave on the tray for 5 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire cooling rack