Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spice Drops

Mon 21 Aug 2006

For this week, Baking Tuesday moves to Monday - though I've been planning the recipe for about a week now.

A couple of years ago I bought A Handbook for Bakers, edited by Albert F Gerhard, on ebay. It's a hefty but plain tome that quite seriously advises its readers on all aspects of running a modern (copyright is 1925) bakery. It also exhorts that the recipes are COMMERCIAL recipes and they are most definitely not for domestic use.

Considering the disdain with which I usually treat recipes (and yes, there are exceptions when I do follow them to the letter) this was hardly going to put me off. Turning to the 'Cookie' section (yes, it's an American publication) HouseMate and I have calculated that we have a good year's worth of biccies to go. Time to get cracking.

First off the ranks are 'Almond Bars'. You can see from my photos that the bar part was all too hard - so let's call them 'drops'. Since the flavour of these biscuits comes predominantly from the spices - well, they're spice drops, aren't they?

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Mix 150g of sugar with 1 egg and add 1 tbsp of golden syrup and 50 mL of milk, in which you've dissolved 1 tsp of baking powder. Add 45 g of almond meal, 200 g of plain flour and mix. Finally add 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of all spice and 1/2 tsp of ground ginger.

Thanks to the golden syrup this is a fearsomely sticky mix, so plopping it onto the baking tray is the only way to go. The mixture is pretty tasty, so be sure not to make yourself feel a bit sick by keeping the spoon clean.

Bake for 10 minutes for soft biccies, longer for crisper ones (I guess - HouseMate deemed the 10 minute cooking sufficient - and the book doesn't give any timings at all).

The flavour is good - and as I've already mentioned, much more on the spice side than the almond side. I think if I were to make them again I'd omit the golden syrup. I'm not sure it adds anything and I think without it the mixture would be much easier to handle - in case you wanted to use a biscuit press or actually make bars.

Using a teaspoon to plop the mixture I ended up with about 2 dozen small-ish biscuits.
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