There are classic cookies all over the world and here in the UK gingernut biscuits (aka gingersnaps) really are a crowd favourite. Here is my easy recipe to make your own classic crunch!
Tonight is the final of the Great British Bake Off on television. As ever the series has been compulsive viewing, all that baking, the effort, the blood sweat and tears.
The fun, the laughter, the stress and the joy when things turn outright. I’m rooting for Ruby. The fearless youngster who is giving it all she’s got.
Watching Bake Off got me wanting to hit the kitchen and get creative with these gingernut biscuits.
Tonight they must create picnic pie, pretzels and a three-tiered wedding cake. While I boast none of those goodies in my own baking repertoire I thought I would share some traditional British baking with you today anyway.
Gingernut biscuits or gingersnaps, whatever you want to call them are very much a staple of the biscuit barrel here in the UK.
The inspiration for this recipe
My Mum used to make gingernut biscuits and loved dunking them in her tea. They are in fact the perfect choice of biscuit for dunking.
Being crisp and firm enough to allow the dunker to immerse the biscuit long enough to soak up enough tea to soften and add flavour.
But without the humiliating disaster of the whole thing just wilting into waterlogged (tealogged!) submission and dissolving into your cuppa, thus creating a nasty mass at the bottom of the cup.
As kids we used to try to crack gingernut biscuits on out elbows by holding the biscuit in your right palm and bashing it with your left elbow. If you could break the biscuit you would get the biscuit to break into just two pieces you would get a wish come true.
We went through a lot of biscuits this way until we just got bored and ate them.
Why are they called gingernuts?
It’s strange to have a biscuit with the name of nut when there are no nuts in these gingernut biscuits. The reason for the name goes back to when small cakes were referred to as ‘nuts’ by bakers. So we have gingernut biscuits and it’s also where the word ‘doughnut’ comes from too. Small cakes made with dough, simple!
Gingernut biscuits should be spicy and crunchy with a real snap when you break them. No moist in the middle cookie this, instead it is a real cracker!
Ingredients for gingersnaps
Self raising flour, sugar, salt, bacarbonate of soda. Ginger and grated orange zest to get that fabulous flavour.
Butter, golden syrup and an egg. Oh, and extra sugar to sprinkle on them. This is not a recipe for the sugar avoiders!
Why do gingersnaps have those cracks?
The famous cracked appearance of ginger snaps is caused by the bicarbonate of soda reacting to the golden syrup. The amount of sugar also helps with this and to get that great crispness these cookies are so fanous for.
But to get really good cracks on your gingersnaps always remember to sprinkle with sugar before you bake them.
How many biscuits does this recie make?
Im my book Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes I made these gingersnaps and rolled the dough into balls the size of a golf ball. When they baked in the oven the gingersnaps came out really big, kind of goant ginger cookies and I got about 20 from this recipe.
However if you roll the dough into 1″ balls as I suggest here you will get a normal sized biscuit and loads of them, probably about 50.
How long will gingersnaps keep
They will keep in an airtight in for up to a week.
Can you freeze them?
Yes, they will freeze in a freezer-proof bag/box for up to 3 months.
You can freeze the prepaired gingersnap cookie dough too. Simply pop it in a freezerbag and you are good to go. Ready to whip up these crunchie cookies at a moments notice.
I made dozens of these when I wrote Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes last year. Idgy’s popularity knew no bounds when she staggered to school weighed down with tuck boxes full of cakes and biscuits. I put on rather a lot of weight.
Looking for more super easy tasty cookie recipes? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Gingernuts (gingersnap cookies)
- 350 g self raising flour
- pinch salt
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp orange zest grated
- 125 g butter
- 5 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 egg beaten
- sugar to sprinkle
- Preheat oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3
- Grease and line a baking tray
- Sift together all the dry ingredients into a big bowl so you have plenty of room to work the dough as it forms.
- Heat the golden syrup with the butter until melted then allow to cool slightly before adding to the dry ingredients.
- Add the egg to the mixture and start to stir together and then get in there and use your hands to form a dough.
- Pull off pieces and roll into balls about 1″ big and press slightly in the middle as you place them on your baking tray. Make sure you leave plenty of space around each so it can spread as it bakes.
- Sprinkle with the extra sugar before popping them into the oven.
- Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
- This recipe should make about 20 biscuits.