I really thought the orange and cinnamon shortbread was going to be my final shortbread bake – for this Christmas season anyway. But somehow, I found that the chilli and all the other flavoured shortbreads just weren’t quite enough – where was ginger in the equation? Friends recently had an Open House to show off the beautiful home they have now finished building. You can find out more and see some fabulous pictures on the Pentiddy Housebuild 2013 blog – the interior is just how I imagine a hobbit hole to be.
Although it wasn’t actually raining, I felt a warming spice was needed, so I baked some ginger and white chocolate shortbread biscuits and took them along. I also sent a box off to a friend as a New Year’s present. These were the first biscuits I’ve ever sent by post, so I was relieved to find they arrived in one piece.
Just before Christmas (as in Christmas Eve!), Wilko sent me a delightful “Home Made” vintage cookie press, which also had “Baked with Love” and “Eat Me” options. It arrived a little late in the day for Christmas biscuits, but I was keen to try it out, having exhausted the Christmas stars, hearts and snowflakes.
The stamp worked really well. The rubber moulds are interchangeable and can be washed separately as needed. They fit well on the handle and are not too difficult to remove. My only complaint was that, although there was a hole in the handle for a piece of string, there was no string supplied, so I had to hunt around for something appropriate. I had to dip the mould in flour between each stamp to avoid sticking, but I was working with a particularly sticky dough. I should really have taken a picture before they went into the oven as the crisp lettering in the dough looked really good. Sadly, the writing didn’t hold through the baking process and the words could not be deciphered. Note to self: this stamp does not work with shortbread. I also managed to overdo the 2nd batch, which was a bit frustrating. However, the biscuits tasted fabulous and the lumps of ginger gave a welcome chewy texture and were as warming and spicy as I’d hoped.
This is how I made:
Crystallised Ginger Shortbread Biscuits
- Softened 50g of good quality white chocolate by putting it in the mixing bowl and placing it on the storage heater for ten minutes.
- Added 170g of unsalted butter cubed and left to soften.
- Creamed the butter and chocolate with 75g golden caster sugar until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
- Added 50g finely chopped crystallised ginger and creamed some more.
- Sifted in 175g plain flour (half wholemeal, half white), 80g brown rice flour and a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt.
- Stirred until incorporated, then formed into a ball and left in my cold kitchen to firm up for half an hour.
- Rolled out to about 6mm thickness and stamped out 28 circles. I then stamped them with the “Eat Me” stamp, which I had to dip in flour each time to prevent it sticking.
- Left to firm up in my cold kitchen for 15 minutes.
- Baked for 9 mins at 180°C until just golden.