Ginger Spice Biscuits

Decorate these treats to compliment the chilly season.
  • 2 cm piece peeled fresh ginger or 2 tablespoons of syrup from jar of preserved ginger
  • 525g plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly and finely ground black pepper
  • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 150g treacle
  • For Icing:
  • 3 tablespoons egg white powder
  • 60ml water
  • 300g icing sugar
  • Food colouring, hundreds and thousands, candies, or coloured sugars as desired
1)Puree the ginger in a mini food processor with 2 tablespoons water. Squeeze and strain juice through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Discard the ginger pulp. Reserve the juice.

2) Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl, then fold in the pepper and set aside.

3) Cream the butter and sugar with a handheld mixer for about 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4) Add the treacle and ginger juice and whisk for about 2 minutes more until evenly incorporated or stir together by hand with a spatula.

5) Gradually blend in the dry ingredients on low speed into the butter mixture until you have a crumbly mixture.

6)Bring the dough together by hand pressing and kneading lightly until moist, but not tacky. Divide into 2 equal portions, press into disks about 1.5cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

7) Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 180C/Gas 4.

8) Dust the dough and a work surface with flour. Roll the dough about ¾-cm thick. Cut out biscuits in desired shapes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the biscuits are a rich tawny brown. Cool on a rack.

9) For icing: Whisk the water and egg white powder in a medium bowl until foamy and smooth. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar to make a smooth icing. For multiple colours divide the icing into small bowls and add a food colouring as desired. Spread or pipe the icing onto the biscuits. Finish with hundreds and thousands, or candies.

10) Set aside on a rack for about 30 minutes to allow icing to set.

Cook's Note: For a chewier cookie, roll them ¾-cm to 1 ¼-cm thick and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.

Copyright (c) 2004 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved.

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