Spiced ginger biscuits
- February 2013
- Makes about 30
- Takes 10 minutes to make, 7-10 minutes to cook, plus chilling
These heart-shape biscuits were originally called ‘life cakes’ and were given to one’s beloved in Victorian times for Valentine’s Day. Lovely for afternoon tea or elevenses. They also look beautiful iced.
- 6.8g (4.2g saturated)
- 16.1g (6.2g sugars)
- 0.6g fibre
- 0.1g salt
- 340g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 170g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- vegetable oil for greasing
- icing sugar for dusting
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg. Stir in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth dough. Gather together and press into a flattish disc.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to just under 1cm thick. (If it’s too soft to handle, wrap it in cling film and chill for an hour first.) Either cut out circles, then press into oiled heart-shaped moulds (see tip), or use cutters to stamp out heart shapes, then chill for at least 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°/gas 4. Put the biscuits on lightly greased baking trays and bake in batches for 7-10 minutes until dark golden and crisp. Cool completely on wire racks, then dust with icing sugar and serve.
Search Ebay for vintage moulds. Oil well, press in the dough, then freeze in batches for 30 minutes. Turn out, then bake.
Freeze the dough for up to 3 months, wrapped in cling film. Defrost and continue.
You can keep the finished, cooled, undusted biscuits in an airtight container in a cool place for 4 days.
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