Biscuits

 

Gazelle’s Almond Cookies

 

Makes about 18 cookies - gas at 5, 375F, or 190 C approx

100 g plain flour

100 g (fresh ground almonds)

100 g Pure margarine (which is free of animal ingredients) or other margarine

50 g white sugar

1 tsp of vanilla essence

Cream your sugar and margarine first and then add the mixed flour and almonds a little at a time till it is all combined. Take about a tablespoon full and roll into a ball in the palm of your hand. Place them on a greased or non-stick pan - 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

 


 

Ginger Jackpot

Do you remember in Alice in Wonderland how there were three sisters who lived in a well and were learning to draw treacle? Well this recipe is one way to do it! Yes, molasses and lashes of ginger make this a moist, chewy biscuit with bite. And three kinds of ginger.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup margarine (preferably one free of unhealthy forced animal extracts such as whey)
  • 1 firm cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of dark treacle or dark molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups ordinary white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda, which is sodium bicarbonate - good for cleaning teeth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger root (peel it before grating, discard any stringy leftover bits)
  • 2 tablespoons of binding agent available in health shops as Egg Replacer (see below for alternatives)
  • 1 1/2 cups of crystalised ginger, chopped into fine pieces (say 2-4mm)
  • You need a fridge, an oven, water, and a lot of restraint to keep from eating up these biscuits all at once.

Preparation

Mix the margarine and brown sugar together well in a bowl till smooth, then blend in the treacle or molasses. Separately mix the dry ingredients - the flour, powdered ginger, baking soda, salt, binding agent / egg replacer - then stir this into the wet ingredients. If using binding agent / egg replacer, at this point also add water as per its instructions, possibly 60ml. Stir in the chopped crystalised ginger and grated fresh ginger and blend thoroughly. Then place the dough in the fridge for two hours to cool before forming it into biscuits. The cooling off is important.

Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius (or 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or Gas Mark 4).

Shape the refrigerated dough quickly into balls of up to 25mm (1 inch) and place on a baking tray about 50mm (two inches) apart as they do expand considerably. As the dough warms up on your hands it becomes astonishingly sticky and impossible to shape as it sticks to your hands - you may need to clean your hands of the warm dough more than once in the midst of shaping the biscuits. Licking your fingers is only partially effective for this.

Bake for ten minutes or until gently browned and allow them to cool on wire cooling racks. Yum.

You could also experiment with adding coconut or toasted flaked almonds.

Binding Agents - Breaking Free of Eggs

People used to believe the world was flat and they were afraid of falling off the edge. Some people even today think it is necessary to eat eggs and they will be worried about not using them until they read this. You can buy convenient egg replacing powders in health food shops in Cornwall and elsewhere, and these powders keep well without refrigeration and do not break when you drop them. A number of other common kitchen ingredients can also bind ingredients together in the way that eggs do, for example using banana, chick pea flour, soya flour and more, as described in these instructions.