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Ginger nuts

Ginger nuts with sesame seedsIt’s this time of the year again when any ginger baked good draws my attention –still early for the real Christmas treats, but the desire for warming and comforting aromas suited to the winter months is already growing strong.  After the fresh ginger cake with caramelized pears and the light gingersnaps I wanted to try something soft and chewy, yet new and unpretentious. So I turned to Duchy Originals recipes and found ginger nuts. The result has been another successful recipe from this marvelous book.

And here is something else I must confess – a thing that most probably will make you smile (or even laugh) – the first time I read the name I expected a sweet in a form of nut or a small ball. I’m happy I found this particular recipe – the cookies it produces are crispy on the edges, amazingly chewy in the center, with an irresistible flavor, and (warning!) so tasty you can’t ever get enough of them.

Ginger nutsMakes 35-40 cookies
Preparation time: 10 minutes + 30 for chilling
Baking time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients:

¾ cup muscovado sugar
4 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp ground ginger*
1 cup sweetened desiccated coconut
½ cup golden syrup**
160g butter
2 cups all-purpose flour

*I always prefer using fresh ginger instead, finely grated, reduced into paste. For this recipe I used 1 tbsp of this paste.

**The original recipe calls for corn syrup, but I like better the deep flavor of the golden syrup. I also believe honey can be used instead, but till now I haven’t tried it, so if you do, please tell me how it worked for you.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140 C / 290F.

Combine sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and coconut in a large bowl. Melt the syrup and butter together and add the mixture into the above ingredients.

Add sifted flour and stir into a thick paste. At this point I usually chill the dough for about 30 minutes -this way it’s easier to work with.

Ginger nutsPick up a little bit of the dough with a tablespoon and roll it into a ball (a ball with the size of a walnut will produce a medium sized ginger nut). Place the balls of dough on the baking sheet or a silicon mat. Keep them well spaced as they will spread during baking.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, and keep an eye so they don’t turn brown. If they do, they will be too tough, not chewy – may be you’re baking them for too long or on too high heat.

When the ginger nuts come out of the oven they are a little flimsy so let them rest for a minute or two before transferring them to cool on a wire rack. These ginger nuts will keep very well for over a week in an airtight container.

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