Tuesday, 1 January 2013

ginger and five spice biscuits

So we went vegmeling to celebrate the end of the year, and one of the things I made were Catherine's Gingernut and Five Spice Biscuits. Well, sort of. And in a few different variations.

ginger and five spice cookies

First I made them in the Friends of the Earth kitchen, using ingredients found in the FoE Melbourne food co-op, which meant all sorts of substitutions. Then, after beautifully and successfully doing that (pictured above), I went home and did it all again, only this time much closer to the original recipe but gluten free, which included sitting on the floor of my kitchen stone grinding star anise for the five spice. 

The gluten-free version, with the original treacle and golden syrup, caramalised the recipe when it was baking and made it crunchy and gingernutty. The FoE version, with its agave syrup and coconut butter, was softer, more like a gingerbread biscuit in texture, and more spicy, I think enhanced by the agave. 

I enjoyed the more original recipe, but I loved my revisions, so I copy them below. 

This recipe is very flexible, it took me over an hour to put together what with constant interruptions in the Co-op, often leaving the batter half mixed in the heat. When it got too gloopy I dropped it in the fridge for five minutes, where it dried out quickly (because I forgot to cover it) but was easier to manage.

For gluten-free, just do a direct orgran's substitute. All good! And make sure your five spice is gluten free - it often isn't, even if it doesn't admit it on the pack. 

Ginger and Five Spice Biscuits
Modified from Catherine

200g bakers flour or SR flour (or a combination of the two)
100g coconut butter (originally nuttelex/butter/margarine thing)
75g brown sugar
90g dark agave
30g light agave
2 tablespoons of Chinese five spice mix (mostly this was because I misread teaspoons instead of tablespoons, but I loved the added flavour so kept it)
2 tablespoons of ground ginger
halfish a teaspoon of bicarb

Melt the cocoa butter, and combine with the agave and the sugar. Add in all the other ingredients, and mix so it's even. Roll the biscuits to about a centimetre thick, and cut out into biscuits (I used a glass tumblr). Place on a lined or greased baking tray, and bake for 9-12 minutes at 180C. Allow to cool, then eat. 

After much deliberation and consultation with other people in the co-op that day, I elected to put a pistachio nut into the centre of each biscuit. You could also use a sultana or a goji berry or anything like that. Or elect not to put in anything. 


Catherine said...

I'm so glad you posted your version of this recipe! There is nothing more exciting than someone taking a recipe you wrote and making it their own. I look forward to trying your variations (once I can escape my current fixation with confectionery).

K said...

The gf ones were so awesome, thanks for grinding the powder!

Cindy said...

I love soft, slightly chewy cookies, so I loved the ones at the picnic. :-)

steph said...

@catherine i love remixing other people's recipes, it's heaps of fun!

@k you are very welcome!

@cindy i'm pretty sure the chewiness was from the heat :oD