easy honeyed ginger biscuits – lynn bedford hall

honeyed ginger biscuits

I am a very big fan of Lynn Bedford Hall, a well known South African cookbook writer who has written over 20 books. I simply love her book ‘Fig Jam and Foxtrot’, which is a ‘cookbook with a difference’.  Its a book set around six fictitious women who live in the fictitious Karoo town of Corriebush.  The recipes are diverse and reflect each of the women’s ‘characters’ and heritage and whilst seemingly quite traditional, they have a distinctly modern twist.

one of my favourite south african cook books

They range from ‘Betsie’s’ very traditional South African dishes, to ‘Virginia’s’ more formal English recipes with a touch of Indian (colonial) influence. We then meet ‘Rosa’, who cooks with love and passion in true Italian style, and included is a recipe called ‘Karoo Bolognese’ which I am dying to try. Enter ‘Olympia’, who is of Greek decent, who brings delicious fresh Mediterranean dishes to the table.  Then there is ‘Sylvia’, who is not an established cook, and serves up comfort every day food. And last but not least is ‘Amatilda’, who owns the local coffee shop and brings to the book a selection of easy and delectable home-made treats.

I love the way the six different styles of food are brought together through these six characters, to create a cookbook rich in ‘personaility’. Traditional and yet very modern.

There are very few cookbooks that can inspire me without one single photograph of the food, and this is book one of them.  The cartoonist Tony Grogan does the delightful illustrations.

The ‘farmhouse finger rusks with buttermilk and oats’ is one of my all time favourite rusk recipes, and I have have been meaning to do a post on these. So coming up this winter for sure.

My next three blogposts are inspired by recipes in this book, and I kick off with one of ‘Sylvie’s’ recipes for Honeyed Ginger biscuits.  Ridiculously simple to make, these are the perfect treat if you are a fan of Nutticrust biscuits.

reminding me of nutticrust biscuits

What you need to make these biscuits:

  • 250ml (1 cup) cake flour
  • 15ml (1 Tbs) ground ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (recipe called for 1 ml – but I wanted a bit more)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) wholewheat flour (I used Eureka Mills stone ground premium flour)
  • 125gm soft butter (room temp)
  • 5ml bicarbanate of soda (baking soda)
  • 15ml (1 Tbs) honey
  • 30ml (2 Tbs) hot water

How to make these:

  • pre heat the oven to 180 C (350 F)
  • sift all the flour, spice and salt, adding the left over wholewheat bits back in
  • add the sugar and mix in the butter until you get a crumb like texture
  • in a separate bowl mix the honey, bicarb and water and when it fizzes add it to the mix (mine didn’t in fact fizz at all)
  • shape the dough into balls (it was quite dry and only just held together) and arrange spaced out on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet.  If I haven’t banged on enough about how awesome silicone baking sheets are, then I will do it again.  No mess, no stick, go get one if you haven’t already. The black plastic baking sheets work just as well and can be cut to size. If you don’t have this, then line or double line with baking paper
  • press each dough ball down with a fork – you should get around 20 biscuits.  I went slightly bigger, so its up to you
  • bake for 18 – 20 minutes until a nice caramel colour and then remove and cool on a rack

I loved the slightly rustic and uneven edges, and the nice hard crunchy texture.  So crunchy that when you bite into them you cant hear the TV, or your thoughts.  Its exactly the way I like it.

crunchy golden treats to fill up the cookie jar

cooling on the rack

just perfect with a cup of tea

the perfect ginger biscuit recipe that anyone can make

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21 Responses to easy honeyed ginger biscuits – lynn bedford hall

  1. Alida May 11, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Sam, these look to die for! Love the look of that book! 🙂 I have her “Fabulous food” book and I love reading through it and making the recipes!

  2. Sam May 11, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Hi Ally, Thanks hun! I also have her ‘Fabulous Food’ and always find her recipe work out so well (baking). This book is filled with stunning recipes.

  3. Rosemary May 11, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I am so going to make these. I have a new cookie press and I think these will work perfectly. Thanks for sharing the review and the recipe.

  4. Maureen Schlenk May 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    these look just gorgeous. the dort is an avid baker so ill be sending this off to her to add to her rep 😉 at the moment its Nigella’s choc chip biscuits and trays of biscotti leading the pack; from almond, lemon and cranberry, to chocolate and raisin!
    thanks so much 🙂

  5. heather May 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I’ve never had (or heard of) a Nutticrust biscuit, but these look and sound so intriguing. We’re renting a place before we move cross-country and search for a new home, and I can’t wait to break in a new oven, get back to baking in general! I bet these are perfectly crispy around the edges and tender in the centers — a great first cookie in a new home.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

  6. Sam May 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Hi Heather, these are really easy to make but are really crunchy throughout (hence like a Nitticrust). Good luck with your move.

  7. Jaclyn May 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Yum! I am dying to read this book now Sam. Any ideas where one can pick it up?

  8. Sam May 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi Jac’s, Ive seen in Exclusives and Im sure in CNA. Other wise if you order off Exclusive Books online (you save around 25%) and the delivery to your nearest store and phone you when it arrives for you to collect. There is also a sequel ‘Return to Corriebush’, which I am very keen to get now.

    s x

  9. Sam May 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi Maureen, these are a real winner, butnext time I am goign to make them a bit smaller so wont feel as guilty when dipping my paws into the cookie jar 🙂

  10. Sam May 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Rose, you will lvoe this recipe. Its really one of the easiest around. Let me know when you make them. S x

  11. Marisa May 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    You’re right, they look like nuttikrust! Would love to try them.

  12. Michael Olivier May 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    I love Lynn Bedford Hall too – such a prolific writer. I used to do photography for her in the 1970s when she had a weekly column in [I think] Pretoria News. She is so talented and so modest and such a brilliant cook and food writer. So agree with you about Fig Jam and Foxtrot, lovely story for a book. Unsung heroine of South African food over more than 4 decades!

  13. Sam May 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Hi M, Lynn really is isnt she.
    s x

  14. karien buter July 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    made these cookies – they have become such a winner amongst my friends and the weans.

    fabulous cookies

  15. Sam July 11, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Thanks Karien, isn’t it just the best ever recipe. I’m smitten.

  16. Ursula Tearnan August 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I’ve long been a fan of Lynn’s. I made these honey ginger biscuits and they’re delicious. Can’t go wrong with any of her recipes.

  17. Kirsten May 6, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Making these tomorrow 😀 <3 Thanks for sharing hun!

  18. Sam May 8, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Hi Kirsten, let me know what you think?

    best
    Sam

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