Posts Categorized: Spice

Gingernut biscuits & the taste of home

Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker

A lovely friend of mine bought her first apartment this week and what better way to help make a house feel like home than with a freshly-baked spice-laden ginger nut biscuits.

We all know that feeling; aching back and frazzled mind after weeks of packing, cleaning, waiting, moving, unpacking, panicking and collapsing on to the sofa surrounded by boxes and the realisation you hate all your old stuff.

All you need is visitors to bring you delicious food and an offer to move a book shelf into place. And then to be left alone to devour the remaining biscuits. In that case, I’m your man.

Old-fashioned Gingernut Biscuits (or cookies for the rest of you)

Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker

The Pantry
2 cups of plain flour
120 grams of unsalted butter (soft-ish, but not quite room temperature)
1/2 cup of golden caster sugar
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons of molasses
1 egg
3 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of raw sugar crystals for dusting

Sugar & Spice Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker 

Preheat oven to 180c.

You can make this recipe totally by hand if you prefer, but I’m more inclined to throw the lot into the KitchenAid and be done with it. I’m impatient and would rather the machinery manage the tedious combining of butter to flour.

Combine the all the dry ingredients (excluding the raw sugar crystals) in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed until well combined.   

Add the butter all at once and on low speed mix until it is well rubbed into the flour and resembles damp sand.

Spices Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker

Beat the molasses and egg together to combine and add to the mixture. Once combined increase speed a little and mix until a stiff dough begins to form. Once you have your mixture rattling around in a ball, you’re done.

Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker

Take a teaspoon sized piece of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten against your palm and place one side down into the raw sugar crystals, and repeat. Gently flatten the raw biscuits a little more with the prongs of a fork.

Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker

Bake for 20 minutes until slightly golden around the edges. They won’t colour deeply, so don’t be tempted to overbake or they’ll become a little too rock-like on the teeth. Allow to cool for 10 mins on the tray before moving to a cooling rack. Package up along with your furniture moving muscles and deliver the taste of home to anyone who needs it.

They appeared to do the job with resounding praise: ‘This is how biscuits are supposed to taste’.

Gingernut Cookies :: The Scandinavian Baker

 

 

Arctic Iced Coffee

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

Whoever said drinking hot drinks when it’s hot outside cools you down was an idiot. I’m looking at you Grandma!

I’ve heard this tale many times but am yet to accept that it actually works – and there’s nothing quite as unappealing as getting my sweat moustache on before breakfast.

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

So I’m taking back iced coffee. Forget the TV ads of twenty-something blokes in SUVs, fighter jets or tornadoes slamming-it-down-fast and think of a perfectly balanced espresso with a refreshing Scandinavian twist.

It’s less like a slap i the face and more like a gentle caress… from a snowman/lady.

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

The Pantry
One double shot of espresso
250 mls of cold, full-fat milk (see if you can’t get that one with the cream still on top – yum!)
1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
3-4 crushed cardamom seeds
Sugar to taste
5-6 cubes of ice
Cocktail shaker, (and signature shaking technique)

Espresso :: The Scandinavian Baker

Gently crush the cardamom seeds with the back of a spoon and brush the crumbs into a jug. Add the cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the freshly made espresso and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cold milk and transfer to a waiting cocktail shaker filled with the ice cubes.

Shake until the shaker becomes too cold and frosted to hold. Pour into a tall glass and dust with a few shakes of cinnamon.

Shake it :: The Scandinavian Baker

See you later boiling-hot coffee on an equally hot Summer’s morning and hello frosty new friend!

For an added delight, place a scoop of your favourite vanilla or coffee flavoured ice cream in the bottom of the glass and pour over the chilled coffee. Take that, day!

Arctic Iced Coffee :: The Scandinavian Baker

Traversing the Spice Routes

 

It’s been a whirlwind tour for us so far.

From the arctic north in Finland to the hot summer sun of Istanbul – across to the Swiss/German borderlands and back to the capital of Scandinavian food, Stockholm; all the while searching for the best ingredients, recipes and inspiration to share on The Scandinavian Baker.

Freshly baked bread :: The Scandinavian Baker

We’ve been lucky to share in the preparation of food for celebrations and long-anticipated reunions with old friends and family. And even luckier to sample the extraordinary flavours of five destinations so far.

From traditional home-made baking and contemporary takes on family favourites to vibrant street food this tour has so far proved a student-exchange for the tastebuds.

While I’m tasting rather than baking, please share the journey with me and the Finn and visit me on the official The Scandinavian Baker Facebook page and Instagram feed #thescandinavianbakerabroad to stay up to date on our fresh and delicious discoveries along the way.

Sweet Turkish street food :: The Scandinavian Baker Sweet Turkish street food :: The Scandinavian Baker Fresh redcurrants :: The Scandinavian Baker Plums for Zwetchgenkuchen :: The Scandinavian Baker

And stay tuned for The Scandinavian Baker’s food lover’s guide to Stockholm. Oh the wonders they will see…