Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cookie commission - The Recipes

From the comments I received on my last post, there was some interest in recipes. I hereby present links to the actual recipes I used to bake my batch of Brit-Centric Biscuits.

Click on photo to enlarge

Ginger Nuts - Classic British Biscuit # 1
Read a little background on the Ginger Nut here
When I was a kid I hated these. I didn't like ginger. I am sure my mum filled up the biscuit tin primarily with Ginger Nuts, just to stop me eating biscuits. They caused the flavour of ginger to permeate through all of the other cookies too and, therefore, I resented them. The fact my sister actually liked them made it even worse. Now I am all grown up, of course, I like ginger very much and I found these cookies quite delicious and extremely easy to make. I could even stand a little more ginger than specified in the recipe I used, which I found here . Please note, too, that I used butter instead of margarine with no adverse affect. And, by the way, the name of these cookies is somewhat puzzling, as they don't contain even the slightest hint of a nut.

Click on photo to enlarge

Garibaldis - Classic British Biscuit # 2
Some very intriguing Garibaldi biscuit facts can be found here.
Thanks to kind readers, I have learnt that Garibaldis, better known in the UK as Squashed Flies, are more often than not referred to here, in the US, as Raisin Biscuits. This strikes me as daft as they have nothing to do with raisins and everything to do with currants. Personally, I have difficulty eating either version of shriveled grape and consequently have never tried a Garibaldi in my life. When I was a kitchen-crazy kid, however, I regularly baked a batch of these for my dried-fruit-loving family. Yesterday, I used the recipe here.

Click on photo to enlarge

All Butter Shortbread - Classic British Biscuit # 3
Who can resist these devastatingly simple-to-bake cookies. They only contain three ingredients - what could possibly be easier than that? They just melt in your mouth. It's the starring ingredient so always be sure to always real butter, never margarine or another substitute. That is the secret to shortbread success. Find the recipe here . I made mine without using the mould as suggested.

Click on photo to enlarge

Flapjack - Classic British Biscuit # 4
Like the Shortbread above, Flapjacks are a quintessential Scottish recipe. Their main ingredient is oats, so it should come as no surprise. This is another easy recipe, that is great for kids to make. I have managed to find Golden Syrup for sale in the US at Wholefoods. It is also easily available online if you do a search. If you can't find it, substitute honey for equal success. I used the recipe here opting for the lesser of the two suggested sugar amounts.

These cookies raised $60 towards Tsunami Relief funds, an amount which will be kindly matched by our employer for a grand total of $120.
Cookie commission - The Recipes


  • At 13/1/05 09:38, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yay, thanks from one Sam to another... I'm excited to do some baking this weekend. I'd make cookies tonight, but someone gave me this crazy Amish Friendship bread starter and it's been going for 10 days... so tonight it's baked into 2 'quick bread style' loaves.

    Anyway, thanks for the recipes, I never imagined that I could actually find a recipe for raisin biscuits.


  • At 13/1/05 13:28, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam, I'm a little worried about your memory, is it your age I wonder? I have never liked ginger and still don't to this day, in fact when I don't want to eat biscuits I buy ginger snaps because it flavours the other biccys and stops me eating them. As for squashed flies I love them unlike the rest of my family. Unfortunately you can't get them here in the Emerald Isle so I must try making them. By the way you've inspired me to organise a cake sale at Dillon and Mollie's school for tsunami aid next week, I wish I could borrow your kitchen aid as I'll be very busy baking.

  • At 13/1/05 16:50, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you have to blame brit food writers for nobody really knowing what brit sweets are. look at nigella's books, half the sweets are american. how useless is that? i did find a recipe for something called 'madeira biscuits' in the special london issue of bon appetit a few yrs back now that i think of it and tried them. they were really yummy but all the other 'english' sweets in the book were bastardized foreign stuff or french. publish them, people! we want to know! it is very selfish and unfeeling of you to keep them to your self. do you realize we are forced to eat brownies and frenchy things when we have a fancy english tea party! we don't know any better. help us.

  • At 13/1/05 17:13, Blogger Guy said…

    Yawn, hey. I don't mean to be too pushy here. But would it be possible to pick UP the posting pace here? Egads people, if you're going to have a blog you really should post more than once a day. If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
    Come join the 21st century.


  • At 13/1/05 19:40, Blogger Sam said…

    Hi Samantha
    Thanks for stopping by again! Good luck with the Amish Friendship bread, and the cookies if you decide to make them, The are very easy. The recipe only makes about 16 and they are quite small.

    Beccy (my sister who lives in Dublin near Ireland with her hubby and 3 kids who I miss a lot)- yes I must be going senile, of course you don't like ginger, I thought that after I'd published the post. The ginger nuts must've been dad's fault. I am honoured and proud that I inspired you to do a bakesale. I hope some other readers might be inspired to do the same. If you make the garibaldis, I reckon you should double it up. Sorry I can't help you with loan of the kitchen aid. But I am sure you will do a stellar job. Email me if you want any tips. (like MARS BAR CAKE :)

    Anonymous. I don't think it is the fault of Brit food writers necessarily, that you don't know more about British food. Until more recent times, the world hasn't even really been much interested in British food. I think Nigella's book covers a wide range of baked goods from all over the world which gives it global appeal. My jamie oliver cookbook has quite a few good British Classics (with a Jamie twist, of course). How impressed would Americans be if Thomas Keller only had American recipes in his repertoir? Here on my own website I try and highlight British recipes sometimes, like the four biscuits in this post.
    If you are really interested in British style cooking you could also check out my posts on Bangers & Mash, Egg sanwiches, and Kedgeree. Other than that, searching the web should throw up many more suggestions. Here are some tips for afternoon tea. In my opinion, classics for this light meal would include cucumber sanwiches without crusts, smoked salmon sandwiches, apsparagus sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream, Victoria Sandwich sponge cake, fairy cakes or malt loaf. Good luck if you try and do one, if you find any recipes online, you can always run them by me to check the authenticity.

    Dr Biggles. You are lucky the English appreciate a good dose of sarcasm! Remember, I know what you look like. I am going to hang out at the Berkeley Farmers Market with a pea-shooter :)

  • At 14/1/05 00:05, Blogger Anne said…

    Sam, just a question on the shortbread. It looks incredibly delicious, and I *must* try. To get those perfect slices - did you shape the dough into a log, chill and slice? Or.. how do you do it? :)

  • At 14/1/05 07:17, Blogger Sam said…

    Hi Anne
    I think the photo is making them look better than they are. I actually rolled out the pastry and then cut large rectangles out of that which I put on the baking sheet. Once on the sheet I marked smaller rectangular fingers and added fork pricks. Problem was, when they cooked they expanded a little unevenly. But, immediately, when you take them out of the oven and they are still soft, you can recut away the wonky bits just before you remove them to the cooling rack. Hence, mine are quite rectangular, but not all the same size because they expanded at slightly different rates.
    Good luck!

  • At 14/1/05 10:45, Blogger Guy said…

    HAHAHHA, yeah huh. I like to start fires!

    No Fatted tomorrow and Jan ain't workin' the Blue Bottle Coffee stand during the winter any more. I'm staying home Saturday morning.


  • At 14/1/05 14:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam I hate to be picky but the last time I checked Dublin was not near Ireland but the capital of Ireland!!
    Mars Bar cake on my list, I've just made 80 chocolate cookies which I had to hide from my brood or they won't be around for the sale.

  • At 14/1/05 19:07, Blogger Sam said…

    Dr B - I'll save the pea shooter for when FC are back from vacation. I've got traffic school tomorrow anyway, so no fun excursions for me.

    Beccy - sorry I got my words the wrong way round, duh! Well, you know where you live anyway. Wow - 80 chocolate cookies. When are you having your bakesale? Good luck with it.

  • At 12/3/06 09:57, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was searching for a recip to approximate the Sunshine/Keebler cookie. i used the recipe in the link and after trial and error, I offer this advise to those who want to copycat the Keebler version: Use a little more raisin than called for, and whirl them in a food processor with a little water or lemon juice. After covering the fruit with the dough, use a rolling pin to flatten the biscuit further. Use an egg wash. Close, but obviously not the same. Bon appetit!

  • At 30/7/06 18:18, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Anonymous-
    I've been trying to locate a recipe for the lost Sunmaid Golden Raisin Biscuits that were discontinued by those mean folks at Kebler, and your post seems to be the best lead I've found so far... but I can't find the recipe you refer to in the post below. I'd love to try to reproduce these treate my dad and I remeber so fondly- would you be kind enough to email me the recipe or link if you have it? Thanks so much for your help!
    Laura and Ray

    At 12/3/06 09:57, Anonymous said…

    I was searching for a recip to approximate the Sunshine/Keebler cookie. i used the recipe in the link and after trial and error, I offer this advise to those who want to copycat the Keebler version: Use a little more raisin than called for, and whirl them in a food processor with a little water or lemon juice. After covering the fruit with the dough, use a rolling pin to flatten the biscuit further. Use an egg wash. Close, but obviously not the same. Bon appetit!

  • At 16/11/06 11:20, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello Folks,
    You can buy the "Garibaldi Biscuit" ("Raisin Biscuits") online. The brand is Crawford Garibaldi. They are available at the following links ...
    Also, the Vermont Country Store has a brand of them (I'm not sure if they are the Crawford brand.) ...
    Hope this helps.

  • At 31/8/07 02:55, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i think they call them ginger nuts because they're supposed to be crisp & hard like a nut. one of the problems with british biscuits, sweets etc. is that british women don't really bake that much. they tend to buy biscuits, cakes & confectionary.

  • At 31/8/07 02:57, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    forgot to say you can substitute karo light syrup or even sorghum syrup (if that's still available in the states) for the golden syrup.

  • At 1/10/07 12:21, Blogger Lyndsey said…

    I just stumbled across you site as I was searching for a proper flapjack recipe. Thanks, off to try making some shortly....after a nice cup of tea and sit down.

    I too am in Brit in US, though I live on the East coast in Boston. Have been here for 10 months so far. I fondly remember the day I found WholeFoods, up until that point I was starting to think fresh fruit and veg was illegal here. Gladly I was very wrong.

    Anyway finding this site was a little strange as I have been reading Julie & Julia a book by Julie Powell and finding a strange urge to cook and not just cook but to blog about how it makes me feel and the impact it has on my life as a Boston based house wife.

    Any tips? What's your motivation?

    Lyndsey x

  • At 3/6/09 19:10, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just discovered this site looking for more authentic recipes for cookies (biscuits). Thank you to the person(s) responsible!
    As a collector of regional cooking this was very interesting.
    Thank you again



Post a Comment

<< Home