I’ve been dreading this week for months. Not just because I turn 23…which is pretty much mid-twenties, which to me sounds like a thoroughly adult age bracket. Early twenties I could do, early twenties is cool. But mid? That sounds a bit scary, that sounds kinda, …old. And getting older definitely stops being cool as soon as you stop being a kid.
Age aside, the main reason I’ve been dreading this week is because it’s been ‘the week my boyfriend goes out to Central America for a month’. Now I know a month isn’t that long and I should probably toughen up and not feel sorry for myself about it all, but I am going to miss him (and worry fairly endlessly over his safety. While he assures me they are only going to be using armoured buses, I still find the fact that there is even a need for armoured buses somewhat unsettling.)
When he left a few days ago I immediately found myself wondering what I could bake to console myself. Now I know ginger oat biscuits may not sound like the first thing you would turn to for comfort. Surely it should be something with chocolate?…Or maybe ice-cream?…Bizarrely, chocolate held next to no appeal. I really just wanted something simple and plainish and warming spices seemed to be what I craved most. Ginger oat biscuits just felt right.
I remember asking my boyfriend not all that long after we’d started dating what his favourite biscuits were (because questions like these are incredibly important to someone as baking obsessed as I am). And he told me how much he liked these oaty, gingery biscuits his Mum made. She baked them once when I was staying with them for a couple of days and I could guess just from the smell coming from the kitchen -toasted oats and ginger – that she was baking ‘those biscuits’. What also made me smile was how the boyfriend’s Dad can’t stand ginger, and so he had to have a separate little batch, sans ginger, for himself.
To me, these cookies bake up just perfectly – crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside (but without that semi-undercooked gooey-ness you get with some cookies – although that most definitely has its place!). Oats and golden syrup make these a distant cousin to the flapjack, which equals flapjack-childhood-nostalgia bonus points. And ginger just works (unless, of course, you don’t like ginger…)
Ginger oat biscuits – based on this recipe by Delia Smith
- 110g butter
- 45g demerera sugar
- 30g soft brown sugar (The original recipe calls for 75g of demerera sugar but I substituted some of this for soft brown sugar to get a slightly chewier cookie. Stick with all demerara if you prefer)
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 110g self-raising flour
- pinch salt
- 110g oats
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 5 balls of stem ginger (preserved in syrup), drained and chopped into small chunks
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease one large or two small baking trays.
- Place the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a small saucepan set over a low-medium heat. Warm, stirring from time to time, until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved and all the ingredients are combined. Remove from the heat.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest, oats, chopped stem ginger and ground ginger until well mixed.
- Pour over the melted butter mixture and stir until all the ingredients are combined and no streaks of flour remain.
- Take walnut sized pieces of the dough and flatten them with your hands to form rounds about 1cm thick and 6cm in diameter. Place onto the prepared tray/ trays. You should get about 16 biscuits.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes until a good golden brown colour and starting to firm up around the edges. They can catch on pretty quick so keep a good eye on them. If using two trays, it’s best to bake the trays separately so that the biscuits bake more evenly. The biscuits will continue to firm up as they cool.
- Cool the biscuits on the tray for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.