Sunday, 27 September 2015

Lincoln ginger biscuits and Grantham gingerbread




Mr CC and I had a lovely long weekend in Lincoln recently (Lincoln is in Lincolnshire – England’s second largest county); it’s very hard to find much wrong with a county that has two fabulous ginger biscuit recipes. I was going to split the recipes into separate posts but spent so long wondering which one to post first that I decided it would be easier to do a double post!

Grantham gingerbread:



Lincoln ginger biscuits:




The biscuits are quite different; their only shared feature is ginger. Lincoln ginger biscuits are a crisp ginger biscuit with a buttery/syrup background that adds depth of flavour.  They are a crisper, more buttery version of the ginger biscuits you will typically find in any supermarket.  Grantham gingerbread is more unusual – it is a pale gingery, buttery rusk of a biscuit with a hollow, almost honeycomb style centre; not like any other gingerbread.  Utterly addictive, we worked our way through the majority of the box we brought back in one sitting.  It was only because we closed the box and moved it out of arm’s length that any survived to the next day!




Like many great recipes, Grantham gingerbread came about by a mistake.  In the 1740s William Egglestone ran a coaching house in Grantham where people would stop for some rest and sustenance.  He made a mistake, mixing up ingredients, for his Grantham Whetstones (a hard flat biscuit which was sold at the time) and created these puffy little delights, which were so popular he continued making them.  Sadly, so many local bakeries have closed that it’s actually hard to find Grantham gingerbread for sale anymore.  I hunted all over Lincoln and found them in one shop – this biscuit is too good to be allowed to die!




I made the biscuits per the recipes in the Lincolnshire cookbooks I picked up whilst on hols; I would make a couple of tweaks next time and note these in the ingredients listings below; mostly the tweaks are upping the amount of ginger - I like my ginger fiery!




If the biscuits alone aren’t enough to convince you to visit Lincoln then look at this – it’s the stunning cathedral, lit so beautifully at night that it glows with golden beauty!





Lincoln ginger biscuits

Ingredients

350g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger – next time I would use 4 teaspoons
115g unsalted butter
10g golden syrup – next time I would use 30g to get a better spread whilst baking
1 egg, beaten


Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/ fan oven 160C/ 350F/ gas mark 4.

Line two baking sheets with non stick foil.

Place the self raising flour, caster sugar, bicarb and ginger in a bowl and mix together.

Heat the butter and syrup together in a pan until melted and combined.

Pour over the dry ingredients whilst mixing.

Add the egg, again, whilst mixing.

Bring the dough together into a firm, stiff ball.

Take walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into balls.

Place on the baking sheet – well spaced – and flatten.  Place 12 per tray (I got 28 in total)

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Leave to cool on the baking sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bask in to glory of the wonderful thing you have created.

Eat.


Grantham gingerbread

Ingredients

340g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
250g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons ground ginger – next time I would use 3 teaspoons


Method

Preheat the oven to 150C/ fan oven 140C/ 300F/ gas mark 2.

Line two baking sheets with non stick foil.

Beat together the sugar and butter until light and whippy.

Beat in the egg.

Fold in the flour, bicarb and ginger.

Take small balls of the dough and roll into balls

Place on the baking sheet, spaced apart to allow for spreading, No need to flatten.  Place 12 per tray; I chanced my arm with 15 and the touched. (I got 30 in total)

Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the trays and bake for a further 20 mins (about 40 mins in total) or until golden and puffy.

Leave to cool and firm up on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.


Eat.

14 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

Ginger cookies are my all time favourite, esp. during the winter season. I love them with a cup of hot ginger honey tea for the afternoon snack.
Grantham one with hollow center is so interestingly different and delicious. I guess they are relatively pale because they contain no golden syrup. Can't wait to give them a try!

Choclette Blogger said...

Ooh I do love a good ginger biscuit. There are so many to choose from though. The Cornish fairing itself is pretty good. Funnily enough I was thinking of having a go at Grasmere gingerbread today. Both of these sound good - I had no idea Lincolnshire was famed for its ginger biscuits - the things you learn.

Maggie said...

I also love Lincolnshire for it's wonderful potatoes and celery they simply can't be beaten! Great to see a couple of biscuit recipes from this wonderful county.

Snowy said...

I love traditional recipes and these sound so good. I also love ginger, so will have to make them.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for the recipes. The Grantham gingerbread sound intriguing.

Stuart Vettese said...

Both look smashing, but I am settling for the Grantham gingerbread! Lovely with a cuppa :)

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

What's not to love about ginger cookies?! These look yum.... I love the crackle top!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

A city that has not one but two ginger biscuits to its name is definately one I'd like to visit! I vote Grantham!

Bella's Secret Kitchen said...

Love Lincoln - Love biscuits - Love ginger. Yaaaayyy :-) x

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

I love regional recipes, and have not heard of either of these. Lovely recipes - I adore gingerbread.

Lisa Marie said...

The Grantham gingerbread intrigued me with its hollow center and minimalist ingredient list. I danced around it for over a week, mulling over the likelihood of my inhaling the entire batch. Then I broke up with the fellow I'd been seeing for two and a half years and this recipe plus a batch of chocolate chip cookies seemed like the only reasonable answer. They really are a little bit of culinary magic.

Thank you, CC. If I do meet someone else, I'll try out your theory of the effectiveness of the caramel cupcakes as a dating tool. Reports of said testing will be submitted to headquarters.

Gloria Baker said...

Love ginger biscuits CC look delicious :)

Gloria Baker said...

Love ginger biscuits CC look delicious :)

A C Hamilton said...

Cheers so much for these recipes - I'm from Grantham but living in Australia and every so often my mum will send over a packet of biscuits that I have to eek out over weeks.. just tried this recipe compared to the packet and these are streets ahead!

Thanks for giving me a bit of home, here in Aus.